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February 20, 2013

Two bodies found in burned Walton house

Police say they heard gunshots at site of fire

Richard Whitby
The Daily Star

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Two bodies have been found in the rubble of a Walton house that was destroyed by a fire Tuesday while two law-enforcement officers were at the site.

According to state police, Walton village Police Chief Brian Laauser and Karl Vagts, a senior investigator for the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, were conducting a criminal investigation at the house about 2 p.m. when they heard two gunshots and raced into the house to its second floor, where they discovered a woman's body.

About that time, the two officers realized the house was on fire and left the building, said state police Capt. Jame Barnes of Troop C in Sidney.

Other remains were found in the basement of the house at 294 John Lockwood Road after firefighters from Walton and Delhi extinguished the flames, according to a state police press release.

Barnes declined to say whether the deaths were the result of a double homicide, a murder-suicide or some other cause.

That's what we're investigating,” he said. “We don't know at this point.”

He also said that he could not, as of today, identify the bodies, both of which were burned. He would not say whether they were charred beyond recognition.

Barnes said he did have possible names but would not release them until autopsies confirmed their identities.

The identification process is ongoing,” he said.

Both sets of remains were taken to Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton.

Barnes also declined to characterize the investigation Laauser and Vagts were conducting at the house .

I do have that information,” he said. “I'm not releasing it at this time.”

He also would not say whether law-enforcement had been previously called to the John Lockwood Road address.

That I can't comment on,” he said.

Authorities secured the site overnight, and state police resumed their investigation this morning. They asked that anyone with information contact them at (607) 561-7400. All calls will remain confidential, they said.

According to Delaware County tax records, the property is owned by Patrick Bosco of Vergennes, Vt. Online real estate records list the house as a 896-square-foot ranch built in 1988, with two bedrooms and one bath.