Man arrested after body found inside burning home -

Man arrested after body found inside burning home

(KMOV) - A man has been arrested after the body of a man was found inside a burning home in Richmond Heights, Mo.

John Kuchler was picked up Wednesday night in Tulsa. Authorities said he is charged with 1st degree murder, 2nd degree arson, and theft of the victim's vehicle.

A Richmond Heights police officer on patrol smelled smoke around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday in the 1100 block of Surrey Hills and sounded the alarm. Inside, they found 81-year-old Jack Pierson on a hospital bed in the living room. There were signs of trauma on the body.

Neighbors describe him as an elderly man, heavy set, with health problems. They also say he kept to himself and had sheets covering all the windows.

Sources told News 4 investigators found something suspicious inside and the Major Case Squad was activated. Early Wednesday morning, squad leaders called their involvement preliminary.

But as the afternoon wore on, sources confirmed with News 4 that police were searching for a particular vehicle in connection with the homicide in Richmond Heights.

Kuchler lived in Pierson's home for 20 plus years. The two were not related but friends.

Police would not discuss motive or cause of death, referring all questions to prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, who was unavailable.

Kuchler is currently being held in the county jail with no bond.

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