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Victim in house fire identified

Staff Reports • Dec 15, 2015 at 3:05 PM

Authorities identified the victim’s body found among the remains of a Statesville home fire last week that appeared to be intentionally set.

The victim is Alan Matthew Mooney Sr., 62, of Statesville. Mooney Sr. was the lone resident of the Armstrong Road home at the time of the fires.

Wilson County investigators worked with Tennessee state medical examiners office and Middle Tennessee State University anthropology experts to identify the body.

The victim’s son, Alan Matthew Mooney Jr., 38, remains the lone suspect in the case, but he hasn’t been charged.

Mooney Jr. remained Thursday morning in Rutherford County Jail on $90,000 bond after he was charged with assault on an officer, reckless endangerment and evading arrest after he led Wilson County sheriff’s deputies on a low-speed chase Saturday.

Sheriff Robert Bryan said the chase started in the Statesville community. He said Mooney eventually led officers to Murfreesboro where Mooney wrecked in an intersection after officers disabled his car at two different times using spike strips during the chase. No one was injured.

Sheriff’s investigators searched for Mooney since Friday afternoon for questioning in his apparent involvement in the fire.

Wilson Emergency Management Agency, Lascassas and Watertown volunteer firefighters responded to a fully engulfed home and out building Friday afternoon at 420 Armstrong Road in Statesville. The fire was a complete loss.

The property owner’s name is Marilyn Mooney, according to Wilson County property tax records, but Bryan said she died a few years ago.

Bryan said Mooney Sr. was unable to be found during and after the fire, but a badly burned body was found once the fire was extinguished. He said fire investigators also found evidence the fire was intentionally set.

Bryan initially believed the body to be Mooney Sr., but the body was too badly burned to be immediately identified. 

According to Bryan, investigators haven’t charged Mooney Jr. with arson, but wanted to consult with District Attorney Tommy Thompson’s office first.

Bryan said investigators have been in constant contact with the district attorney’s office and anticipates presenting the case to a Wilson County grand jury next week.

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