A man found dead in a St. Petersburg home at the center of an arson investigation died from blunt force trauma, police said Thursday.
Authorities identified the victim as Robert Greaves, 33, and said his body was so badly burned it took nearly 24 hours to get a positive ID.
Police said Daniel Papaleo invited Greaves, who has a child with Papaleo's daughter, to his home on 13th Street North Wednesday.
Detectives haven't yet revealed what they believe happened after Greaves got to the house, but we're told Papaleo eventually set fire to his it at around 6 p.m. with the victim inside.
"I was closing the curtains and I looked across the street and saw flames in front of the house and a neighbor was trying to put it out," said Alberta Dalke, who lives nearby. "I started hearing screams from the back of the house."
Investigators said those yells were coming from Papaleo, who had been hurt in the fire.
"The whole back of the house was fully engulfed in flames," siad Bill Proffitt, a spokesperson for St. Petersburg Police, adding investigators found accelerants that indicated this is an arson case.
Papaleo is recovering from injuries suffered in the fire and is currently only facing arson charges, but police haven't yet determined if there will be additional charges.
"I've lived here for almost 20 years, nothing like this has ever happened before. I was kind of shocked," said Kenneth Gilder, one of Papaleo's neighbors. "You never know what's going on in the world and if you're not out there talking with your neighbors, you really don't know who they are."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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