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Woman Dies In House Fire; Authorities Looking For Person Of Interest
The body of a woman was found inside a burning home Thursday morning in Southwest Alachua County, and detectives are now trying to determine if the body is the homeowner, and if her son started the fire.
87-year-old Jessica Neville and her 53-year-old son Robert have both lived at the house during the better part of the last two decades... but at times, there were disputes over who should be forced to move out.
Detectives from the Alachua County Sheriff's Office won't confirm that it was Ms. Neville inside the home, but have confirmed that the victim was a female.
They aren't calling the fire suspicious or calling anyone a suspect, but they do want to talk to Robert.
He has been arrested on 31 different charges since 1990, and sued his mother in 2002 for possession of the home.
Authorities have named Robert a "person of interest" and want to question him about the fire.
"(The) individual did live there at the residence. apparently left about 45 minutes, a half hour, prior to when the fire was noticed by a neighbor. so we are looking for him," said Sgt. Keith Faulk from the Alachua Co. Sheriff's Office.
Detectives say it may take the medical examiner up to 48 hours to identify the body and could take the State Fire Marshal's Office even longer to determine the cause of the fire.
Once they have all of that information, investigators will determine if foul play was involved.
By David Hamilton/WCJB TV 20 News
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