Champaign Police: Fire Death Homicide Investigation
By Jeff Bossert
Champaign Police say the female victim of an early Friday morning fire appears to have suffered stab wounds.
The Champaign County Coroner's office hasn't released the victim's name, but police have arrested Terry Brownlee, 31, of Champaign. Police say the victim didn't reside at the apartment at 407 S. State Street, but the woman and Brownlee knew each other.
Browlee was taken into custody in the 1200 block of W. Hill in Urbana.
Officers say their investigation further revaled the victim sustained injuries that appeared to be stab wounds.
Champaign Fire investigator John Koler says his department was called to the address at 6:10 AM, and had the blaze in the second-story apartment out within minutes.
But the department says the they found the victim inside the charred efficiency unit. The coroner's office is waiting for positive identification of the victim before releasing her name. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.
Fire investigators weren't sure how the fire started.
Residents of all but two of the apartments in the small complex were allowed to return home within an hour.
UPDATE: Coroner Duane Nortrhup said Saturday the name of the victim is still being withheld until dental comparisons can be conducted for positive identification.
Northrup also said because of the ongoing criminal investigation and pending post morton lab results, the cause of death is not being released at this time.