• DA: Deaths of man, mother in fire last month were homicides

    Updated:
    PALMER, Pa. (AP) - Authorities say the deaths of a man and his mother in an eastern Pennsylvania fire last month were homicides.

    The Northampton County coroner on Monday identified the victims of the early morning Jan. 4 fire in Palmer Township as 97-year-old Virginia Houck and her visiting son, 59-year-old Roger Houck, both found in the basement.

    One was bound at the feet and the other had binding around the head. Officials said the man died of "homicidal violence" and the woman of smoke inhalation and burns.

    District Attorney John Morganelli said investigators are looking at - and "have been in contact" with - a person in the case, but no charges have been filed.

    Morganelli said the fire may have been set to cover up the homicides. The motive remains unclear.

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