AP NEWS

Foul play ruled out after Wyoming house fire kills 2

December 23, 2019 GMT

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities say no foul play is suspected in the deaths of a father and daughter in a central Wyoming house fire.

Fremont County Coroner Mark Stratmoen identified the victims as 49-year-old Joseph “Todd” Pepper and his 11-year-old daughter Cambrie Pepper.

Stratmoen told The Ranger newspaper that the fire appears to have killed the victims but an official cause has not been announced.

Their bodies were discovered when authorities could safely enter the home in a rural area north of Riverton eight hours after the blaze was reported Thursday afternoon. Investigators believe the fire began much earlier because it was burning heavily when firefighters arrived and took several hours to put out.

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation was initially involved in the investigation but is no longer a key player in the case because no criminal activity is suspected, Fremont County Undersheriff Mike Hutchison said.

Emergency dispatchers took the 911 call from callers who sounded as though they were distressed, and the dispatchers were unable to call back after they were disconnected, the newspaper reported.

Riverton Volunteer Fire Department Chief Henri DeClercq said previously that he suspects the cause was mechanical or accidental.