FOWLER- Two Fowler men have been arrested and charged with arson and murder in a deadly Fowler house fire investigation.
Duane Scott Muse, 42, and Rhett Allen Martin, 43, have been arrested and charged in connection to the house fire at 103 North Polk Street, where the body of Daniel C. Riegle, 60, who resided at the address, was found. They are accused of killing Riegle and setting fire to his home.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley said the two suspects are cousins and both men lived in the 300 block of W. 4th Street in Fowler. Riley did not comment on how Riegle was killed.
Riley added that “Trooper Detectives out of the Indiana State Police Post at Lafayette, Indiana State Fire Marshall’s Office, Fowler Police Department, Benton County Coroner’s Office and the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office have worked diligently over the last week to arrest the two men and book them into the Benton County Jail.
Riegle was positively identified by the Coroner’s Office and family has been notified.
Martin has two felony charges pending in Newton County Superior Court for stalking (filed April 17, 2019), and performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor (filed Jan. 25, 2019).
Both men appeared in Benton County court on Friday afternoon (Dec. 13).
According to the probable cause affidavits relating to their involvement with the death of Riegle, the two went to the residence with the intent of robbing Riegle and that Martin shot him.
The autopsy showed that Riegle died from a single gunshot wound to the neck. The pathologist also noted that no soot was found in his esophagus or his lungs, indicating that he was deceased prior to the fire.
The probable cause affidavit also stated that a first responder noticed what appeared to be a blood spatter on the wall near where the body was found.
While being interviewed, Muse informed investigators that Martin knocked on his bedroom door at about 2:45 a.m. and aqsked for his help to go down to the house on Polk Street to rob Riegle. Muse informed police he didn’t know the victim or who the house belonged to, but that Martin thought Riegel had money.
Muse told police that Riegle opened the door and he and Martin got in a fight. Muse said he heard a pop sound and then ran back west in the alley to where Martin’s car was parked.
Muse continued to tell police that Martin came back to Reigel’s vehicle and then drove it and parked it a few blocks away.
According to the affidavit, Muse told police that Martin left the house again a little later and cam eback an hour later. Muse claims he didn’t know anything about the arson.