An autopsy concluded 62-year-old Robyn Furmanski of Cedar Rapids died from “blunt force head injuries, smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.” The fire in Furmanski’s condo was reported early in the morning on March 31. Investigators say the fire was intentionally set.
Forty-three-year-old Onyale Vantress Hughes has been charged with murdering Furmanski. Police say Hughes had possession of Furmanski’s prescription medications, plus tests confirmed the victim’s blood was on his clothing. Hughes has been charged with fire degree robbery and first degree arson as well as first degree murder.
This is not the first time Hughes has been arrested. The Tama Toledo News reports Hughes is currently serving a 90-day sentence in the Tama County Jail, for stealing vehicles at a shop in Chelsea nearly two years ago. The newspaper reports Hughes has drunken driving convictions in Tama and the state of Missouri, as well as a conviction for harassment in Linn County. Hughes has lived in Tama, Burlington and Cedar Rapids.
He was arrested in Burlington last year for driving while barred.