Update: Human Remains Found At Suspicious Fire In Madison County

Reported by: Aaron Adelson

Reported by: Melanie Kendall
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Updated: 10/03/2013 6:56 pm

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

Investigators say they've found human remains at the side of a Madison County fire, called suspicious by State Police.

Walt Liebengood, the homeowner, has been missing since last Thursday when the fire broke out.

His family sent out a team of experts to search the home.  In a day, they found skeletal remains.  

Wednesday evening, the remains were found feet from the house.  Thursday morning, the coroner removed the skeletal remains from Walt's home.

Kirk Liebengood, Walt's brother, thinks the remains were pushed out of the house by an excavator first responders used to knock down the home's chimney.

KSP searched for three days, and determined Walt was not there.  State Police opened a missing persons case.

It's now a death investigation.

Kirk Liebengood says he is sure the skeletal remains are his brothers.  He says he can find find piece of mind knowing what happened to his brother.

Saturday Sept. 28th

Still no word on a missing Madison County man who hasn’t been seen since his log cabin burned to the ground Thursday morning.

Crews brought in more dogs to search rubble for remains but found nothing.  They finished the nearly three-day search Saturday morning with no answers. 

A missing persons case has been opened for Walt Liebengood and an arson investigation is underway.  

“I don't know how anything like this could happen, this time of year, what would be burning in the house,” asked Kirk Liebengood, Walt’s brother.

Clay Masters lives across the street from Walt’s log cabin home on Whitlock Road.  He heard a popping noise Thursday morning and thought it was his refrigerator.  Then he saw the nearly 40 foot flames and called 911.

The top two levels collapsed into the basement.  Crews combed through about five feet of rubble looking for answers.  The home is completely destroyed according to the Madison County Fire Department. 

Friends and family think Walt was in the home because his car and truck, which he always locked, where both still parked outside but they wonder why nothing has been found.

“I believe him to be in there someplace.  I don't know where else he would be,” said Liebengood.

Walt was a former little league coach and a deer hunter.  He was a handy man and according to friends and family, the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.

“He'd do anything in the word for you, Walt would,” said Masters.

“An old guy once told me that if you have three good friends in life then you've had a pretty good life.  I'm sure Walt had far, far more good friends than that,” said Liebengood.

The lack of answers in the investigation brings more questions for the friends and family.

“I have no words for how badly I miss him already,” said Liebengood.

The Madison County Fire Department was released from the scene Saturday afternoon.  State Police and State Fire Marshalls are now handling the investigation.

Some evidence was taken from the scene and has been sent to test for possible accelerators. 


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