Police Investigating ‘Suspicious' Death in Worcester, Massachusetts

Police in Worcester, Massachusetts, said a man died under "suspicious conditions" after his body was found following a fire on Tuesday night.

Crews responded to a Halmstad Street home around 11:45 p.m. for a small fire. When police arrived at the scene, they found a 54-year-old Worcester man dead in the living room. His lower body was badly burned and he appeared to have a head injury.

The victim's name has not been released.

"Terrible," neighbor Nancy O'Dorski said. "Shouldn't have happened. I don't know what happened. I thought he died in the fire."

Less than an hour after the fire call, police said they arrested a man on an unrelated shoplifting charge a short distance away on Blackstone River Road.

Police said the man appeared to be intoxicated, was behaving strangely and refusing officers' commands to keep his hands out of his pockets. They frisked him for weapons and found a bag of cheese puffs and a small "Torch" style lighter on the ground near him.

Further investigation revealed that the items had been stolen from a 7-Eleven store on River Road.

Police said the suspect did know the man who died on Halmstad Road, but is not currently charged with any crime in connection with his death.

Another fire was also reported around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday on Blackstone River Road, near where the shoplifting suspect was apprehended. A resident of the building said a man who appeared to be intoxicated was jiggling his door handle and knocking on the door just prior to the fire.

The death on Hamlstad Road has been referred to the state medical examiner's office to determine whether it was a homicide.

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