Aransas Pass Police Investigating Fire as Possible Homicide

Aransas Pass police are investigating whether a fatal trailer fire Monday night was an accident or a possible homicide.

As of Tuesday, authorities are treating the case as a homicide, and they are not ruling anything out.

Police found the body of a woman in her mid-50s inside the trailer, which they say was identified by the man who lived in the trailer as Vickie Mathis of Ingleside.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office collected evidence at the scene of the blaze on the 900 block of North Whitney in Aransas Pass.

Police said the 49-year old Hispanic male that lived in the trailer told them that the fire started between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Firefighters were sent to the trailer fire around 6:37 p.m. and extinguished the fire.

According to police, the man who lived in the trailer was home at the time, and said he tried to rescue the woman but was unable to, and then he got out of the trailer.

"We're seeing if there is evidence that foul play was involved," said Captain Kyle Rhodes of the Aransas Pass Police Department. "We have information that she did have smoke in her lungs, so apparently she was alive at that time, which supports that she may have been overcome by the smoke and so forth, and that's what incapacitated her; but we're not ruling out at this point."

Police said the man who lived in the trailer told them that the woman was a longtime friend of his and was visiting. Some witnesses claimed that there were some other people in the area at the time, and so arson is being looked at as a possibility.

Investigators said they have a couple of ideas as to what happened, and they are collecting evidence to see if they can support those theories and establish exactly what caused the fire. They are looking at everything, and not ruling anybody out as a suspect.


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