A house fire destroyed a home in Joshua Tree on November 23. On Monday, a body was discovered in the debris by the owner of the home when he began to clean up. The body has not been identified.
Shirley Peters is a neighbor and recalls what happened that night.
“I could just see flames coming,” she said.
The San Bernadino Fire Department conducted an arson investigation at the home following the fire. They then turned the home back over to its owner who discovered the body over a month later. He said it was in the debris next to the stove in the part of the house that would have been the kitchen.
“We didn’t know them,” said Peters. “We didn’t know anything that was going on there.”
Still, it is unclear how the body went unnoticed for more than a month. However, it was buried under a foot of debris and neighbors said they saw people leave the house before the fire started, which led investigators to believe it was empty. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
One day after the fire, deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department returned to the scene after workers reported smelling a strong marijuana scent. They located marijuana plants in the home’s detached garage. The case is still under investigation.
“It’s a horrible thing,” concluded Peters.
News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 will deliver more details pending the identification of the body and the outcome of the investigation.