Body Found in Burning Building in Helena-West Helena

(Helena-West Helena, AR) A mother is upset after police told her foul play was not likely involved in her son’s death, even though his body was found in a burning building in Helena-West Helena.

A makeshift memorial was placed just outside the building where Damien McNeal was found dead.

It was put here by his mother who’s got more questions right now than answers.

Angie McNeal reported her 21-year-old son missing, but she never dreamed it would end with him being found dead in a burning, vacant apartment, “I miss him and I love him.”

Early Monday morning the fire dept. was called to the corner of Beach and Porter.

What they found inside the vacant apartment, was the body of Damien McNeal.

Investigators say at this point, they don’t believe foul play was involved.

“There was foul play in that,” said McNeal. “If that’s the case, how come my baby wasn’t burned up in that house? Why did they find him butt naked? Why were his clothes gone?”

McNeal said her questions are not getting answered.

She wants to know if someone sexually assaulted her son, since he was found in his underwear. The concerned mother believes someone killed McNeal then set the building on fire.

“He wouldn’t have taken his clothes off in an abandoned, cold house,” she said.

Investigators say McNeal was mentally ill and homeless and would often seek shelter in vacant buildings.

They believe McNeal may have started a little fire to keep himself warm. Only this time, it may have gotten out of hand.

Police say McNeal’s body has been sent to the medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death. Police say they’ll know which way to go in their investigation then.

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