Douglas County officials investigating homicide after fire, guns - KCTV5

Douglas County officials investigating homicide after fire, gunshots

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Douglas County officials are investigating a suspicious death a few miles south of Lawrence. (Nathan Vickers/KCTV) Douglas County officials are investigating a suspicious death a few miles south of Lawrence. (Nathan Vickers/KCTV)
DOUGLAS COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a homicide after a man was found dead inside a burned home on Friday.

Early Saturday morning, deputies had blocked off some of the streets as they investigated.

The sheriff's office said someone called them to report gunshots and a house fire in the rural neighborhood a few miles south of Lawrence.

Deputies couldn't get into the house at first because of the fire, but once the fire department put it out they entered the house and found a man's body inside.

The sheriff's office later identified the man as Joel Wales, 34, of Eudora.

Authorities say no one else was in the home.

Neighbors told KCTV5 News that Wales was related to the owners of the home. They said he had been living there awhile.

However, most people on the block said they didn't know him very well.

“It's been a strange year in Lawrence,” said neighbor John Rothwell. “Shootings on Mass, domestic violence. Now, I don't know what this is all about.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at 785-843-0250.

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