Body found in basement of burning apartment building

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Detroit — A body with signs of foul play was found early Tuesday in the basement of a burning apartment building on the city's east side, officials said.

Fire personnel arrived around 6:45 a.m. to the abandoned building on the 9500 block of Whittier Street across from Marvin L. Winans Academy near Interstate 94 and Harper, Capt. Pat McNulty said.

"Firefighters found a body in the basement of the burning structure," McNulty said. "Investigators are on the scene trying to determine the cause of the fire and the death."

The unidentified man inside was "burned beyond any recognition," Detroit police Officer Dan Donakowski said. "It did look like there was foul play involved."

Donakowski declined to detail the type of foul play suspected.

"It's being investigated by our homicide unit," he said.

A fire truck and other official vehicles were at the scene early Tuesday as investigators went in and out of the burned building with flashlights. Several windows were broken and boards appeared to have been forced from the front door.

The apartment sits directly across the street from Marvin L. Winans Academy and adjacent to several identical apartments, which also appear to be abandoned with broken and boarded windows and doors.

hfournier@detroitnews.com