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Victim Identified In Deadly Trailer Fire In Salem
Updated April 10, 2017 6:01 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(WASHINGTON CO.) - Early Friday morning, the victim found deceased on March 14th in a mobile home located at 221 Teresa Street in Salem was identified by the Kentucky Medical Examiners Office in Louisville, KY.

The victim is identified as 62-year-old Jefferey Charles Givan, who was living as a nomad in and around the Pekin and Salem areas.

Officials were able to identify Givan from dental records.

A definitive cause of death has not been determined in this investigation pending further test results.

A probable cause affidavit has released some details about an arson fire in Salem's Southway Villa Mobile Home Park.

During an interview with police, 28-year-old Joshua Risinger of Salem told police that he murdered a homeless man named "Gilbert" by starting a fire in the mobile home.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by ISP Detective Matt Busick, Risinger told police the mobile home belonged to him.

Det. Busick says this was not a complete statement of facts, but established probable cause for police to make the arrest.

Salem Fire Department received the call just after 7 p.m. after Lenny Hays called 911 and said her neighbors house was on fire.

When Salem Firefighters arrived the mobile home was engulfed in flames. After firefighters put out the fire they found a body inside.

According to police, mobile home park manager Roddy Humphrey told police that he saw the man that lived in the mobile home walking through the mobile home park. The man was wearing a jacket and had something over his head and was carrying a duffel bag.

Salem Police Officer Alex Bilbrey patrolled the area and found the man walking on Jackson Street. Bilbrey, along with Assistant Police Chief Tim Miller, stopped Risinger. He told police that the trailer was on fire and he had just walked away.

Miller came to the scene of the fire and was told by officer Russell Wilcoxson that firefighters had found the body in the middle of the living room.

Originally the State Police arrested Risinger on charges of arson and murder. However, Risinger has only officially been charged with murder as the arson investigation continues.

According to the Washington County Prosecutor's office, the Prosecutor's office chose to file only a murder charge at this time because it appears that the fire was started with the intent to kill.

Salem Fire Chief Tom Day says he was on the scene until early that morning with the Indiana State Fire Marshall to help investigate the crime. Day says once the cause of the fire is determined the information will be released by the state police.

Risinger appeared in court before Judge Larry Medlock and told him he did not need an attorney saying he was capable of representing himself.

Judge Medlock assigned public defender Drew Wright to represent Risinger, and and entered a preliminary not-guilty plea on Risinger's behalf.

A trial date is scheduled for October 3, 2017.

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