Investigators have discovered that the scene of a New Year’s Day house fire could have also been the site of a disturbing crime.
After a preliminary investigation, authorities allege that Nerissa Distin (33) and her two-year-old daughter Serina Morris were murdered by the girl’s father Gary Morris (42) before he took his own life. Firefighters discovered their bodies after an explosion at their home in the 3300 block of Retriever Road.
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Neighbors told 10TV they heard at least two loud booms, then saw the home go up in flames immediately after. Columbus firefighters were on the scene attempting to extinguish the fire within five minutes. 10TV reports they knew right away there would be no survivors because of the intensity of the fire.
While Columbus Police say there were no calls to the couple’s home before the fire, Distin’s cousin told ABC6 that she dealt with death threats and abuse by her husband for years.
Police did not provide any other details about the victims or the explosion, and the investigation is ongoing.