© 2000 - Transcribed by: Deb Barnhill - VBarnhill@aol.com
FIRE VICTIM MIGHT HAVE BEEN KILLED BY A ROBBER KILLED BY A ROBBER
_Officers investigating death of Thomas Wooten
whose charred body was found in buring home.
Thomas Wooten, 68 year old retired railway worker, was buried beyond recognition in a fire which destroyed his two room frame home at Mckinley and Thomas street about 7 o'clock last night and authorities are invest- igating the possibility that the man might have been murdered and the home set fire be his assailant.
Wooten's Waltham watch and some money were missing when the badly churred body was removed from the debrisof the house last night and Sheriff Bill Brent and Coroner Grover Greer are attempting to learn if a deep head gash was inflicted by someone or if the man might have fallen against something during the fire.
Chief Sam Knight discovered blood flowing from the wound although the head and remainer of the body was buried beyond recognition.Knight and Coroner Greer said this was an unusual circumstances in fire deaths and a thorough investigation is being conducted to learn the facts in the case.
Wooten worked for a railroad several years and had resided here for the last 50 years. In resent years he worked as a laborer and recently had been picking cotton, neighbors said.
Carl Garrett, a boy living in the Ashcroft addition, discovered the blaze and summoned the fire department. Firemen and trucks from both stations here ped to the scene to find the small frame house a mass of flames on arrival. Wooten's body was found on the floor. In the front room of the house beside his bed. Most of the fire had been in the front portion of the house and in the room where the body was found.
Sheriff Brent, learned that Wooten had walked to the business dis- rict yesterday with Bobby Davis, 16, who said the man remarked that he was going to the courthouse to pay his taxes.
Charles Kenier, who lives on Highway 53, told Sheriff Brent, he saw a taxi cab with two people in it in front of the Wooten home between 6:30 and 6:45, a few minutes before the fire was discovered. Officers doubted if the fire could have gained so much headway in so brief a period unless it had been an arson blaze.
Wooten's body was removed to Frank-Cotrell Chapel. He is survived by a brother, George Wooten, who lives here, a son, Harry Wooten of Natchez, Miss., and a sister, Mrs. Effie Dwiggins of Bloomfield. Funeral plans were incomplete pending the outcome of the investigation.
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