|House where Porter's disappeared destroyed in fire (courtesy Springfield News-Leader)|
The house that a murdered couple from Willard disappeared from is a total loss after a fire early this morning (10-14-11.)
Rusty and Rebecca Porter went missing from the house in April. Family members called authorities after they went to the house on Route HH after not hearing from the Porter's for a day, which was unusual. The house was unlocked and a strong smell of bleach permeated the inside of the residence.
The couples remains were found in July in rural Taney County. The couple had been each been shot in the back of the head.
Tim Campbell, a cousin of Rusty Porter, was living in the house and called 9-1-1 around 4:45 a.m. to report the fire. Strong winds, with gusts as high as 35 mph, hampered firefighting efforts, but the fire was brought under control shortly after 7 a.m.
|Back of house burning (courtesy Kay Simmons)|
Sheriff Jim Arnott says he does not believe any potential evidence was destroyed in the fire as investigators had finished processing the house and surrounding property for evidence and released the crime scene to the family last spring.
Arnott says the blaze will be investigated as an arson until a cause is determined.
There have been no charges filed against anyone at this time in connection to the Porter's murders.
UPDATE 1:30 P.M.:
According to Rusty Porter's mother, Kay Simmons, the state fire marshal has ruled the fire an accidental electical fire that started in the attic near the kitchen.