Death Investigation

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A 77-year-old man is dead in what police originally considered to be an accidental fire fatality. Earl Wilson was trapped in the basement of his home and died early Wednesday morning. Loves Park police originally thought Wilson died from smoke inhalation, but after a preliminary coroner's report the death is now considered a homicide.

Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiducia completed an autopsy on Thursday. The results came back inconclusive.

Loves Park police are now guarding the house on Lexington. As the investigation continues, Loves Park police say they are treating Earl Wilson's death as a murder, saying it's possible that the fire was a way to cover up a murder.

Those who live in the neighborhood say they are shocked and scared. Neighbors tell 23 News that a murder is rare in Loves Park and they can't believe that someone would commit such an act a neighborhood they consider safe.