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Salt Lake City police say grandson stabbed his grandfather to death then lit the house on fire

Charges are expected to be filed in the coming days against a man who Salt Lake City police say stabbed and killed his grandfather and then set his house on fire to cover it up.

John Peel, 74, was found dead Friday morning after Salt Lake City Fire Department responded to his home on Logan Avenue shortly after 7 a.m., Detective Greg Wilking said. Fire crews arrived to find the front porch ablaze and located Peel inside with “obvious signs of trauma to the body.”

“We took over the investigation because it looked suspicious at that time,” Wilking said.

Police on Saturday booked Peel’s 28-year-old grandson into the county jail on suspicion of murder, aggravated arson, aggravated burglary and desecration of a human body.

“What we understand is the suspect came over to that house, made contact with the victim and ended up killing him. And then came back, set the fire in hopes of covering up," Wilking said.

Police are still investigating when the stabbing occurred. Wilking said he did not know where the grandson was living at the time of the fire.

Wilking credited the quick response by the fire department that preserved the homicide crime scene.

(Becky Jacobs | The Salt Lake Tribune) Detective Greg Wilking announced Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 at a news conference that Salt Lake City police are investigating a fatal fire Friday as a homicide.

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