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Missing truck found following house fire homicide

4:31 PM, Oct 1, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Missing truck found following house fire homicide

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Detectives are now identifying two men found dead following a two-alarm house fire in the Historic Kenwood neighborhood of St. Petersburg.

Police say 51-year-old Bruce Johnson and 36-year-old Arthur Regula were both killed before the fire which broke out around 1:30 Sunday afternoon.

"Just prior to the fire starting, we believe someone came into the house and killed both of these men and then used the fire to cover up the crime scene," said Mike Puetz of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Investigators had been searching for Regula's Ford truck that was missing from the scene, but located the vehicle abandoned in Tampa near the intersection of Columbus and MacDill Monday afternoon.

"There is a possibility the suspect might have left in that car," said Puetz.

Police have not yet released an exact cause of death or possible motive in the crime.

Friends of Bruce Johnson left flowers and balloons in front of the fire damaged home Monday. They say Johnson has a big heart and they can't understand why anyone would want him dead.

Regula ran a tiling business and was helping renovate the interior of the home. The home's owner was not at home at the time of the fire and police say he's been cooperating with the investigation.

Beau Zimmer, 10 News

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