Body found in burned building after fire

news_fire_greenDaily Journal

IUKA – The body of a Tishomingo County man was found early Sunday morning in a burned building after a passing motorist saw flames.

The victim is believed to be James Matthew Willard, 44, of Highway 25 North in the North Crossroads community, said Coroner Mack Wilemon.

The body will be taken to Jackson today for autopsy to determine cause of death and positive identification.

A passing motorist saw the building fully engulfed in flames about 1 a.m. Sunday and called it in, Wilemon said. The body was discovered about 5 a.m. after the flames were extinguished. The North Crossroads and Yellow Creek Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the scene.

The building was formerly a church, but was leased to Willard as a residence, Wilemon said.

The case remains under investigation by Tishomingo County Fire Investigator Jesse Jones.