AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Firefighters found a man and a woman murdered inside a home early Tuesday.
Firefighters responded to the 1000 block of Brown Street just before 6 a.m. after two calls to 911 reporting a fire.
When firefighters arrived, they found the rear of the home engulfed in flames.
After the fire was extinguished, firefighters entered the home and found the victims.
The Summit County Medical Examiner identified the victims as Justin Lee Walker, 34, of Akron and Melinda Kay Pointer, 47, of Akron.
According to the medical examiner, both victims died of gunshot wounds to the head and torso.
The owner of the property, George Spiegel, does not live in the home and told 19 News nobody should be living there.
He bought the place at the beginning of the year and said it has been overrun with squatters ever since.
“My buddy’s dad lives around the corner over here and he sat out here one day and counted 36 people in one hour coming in and out of this place,” he said.
Spiegel, whose claims are backed up my several neighbors, said he’s been trying to serve eviction notices but the process has been complicated due to COVID-19.
He said he’s received numerous calls from police about drug activity on the property.
“The police have been there four or five times,” said a local pizza delivery driver, who works at a restaurant a few doors away. “I’d be willing to say it’s probably a drug house.”
Police have not commented on the motive for the shootings, nor have they commented on the role any suspected drug use might have played.
Among the rubble in the backyard, our crew discovered multiple hypodermic needles.
A woman who stopped by the house after police left the scene said some of the people who were staying inside the house previously helped her with some work at a rental property she manages.
“That’s all I really know, I dropped them off here,” she said. “They were nice people, I guess they just fell on hard times.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Akron police at 330-375-2490 or Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS.