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Man whose remains were found after fire died as a result of suicide

Investigators believe Harry McMullen died in Fairview Road house of a self-inflicted gunshot wound

August 03, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • A 61-year-old man whose remains were found in the debris 10 days after a house fire near Clear Spring in late May died as a result of a suicide, Maryland State Police said Wednesday. Investigators believe Harry McMullen died in the house at 15219 Fairview Road as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Detective Sgt. T. Gregory.
Herald-Mail file photo

A 61-year-old man whose remains were found in the debris more than a week  after a fire destroyed a house near Clear Spring in late May died as a result of a suicide, Maryland State Police said Wednesday.

Investigators believe Harry McMullen died in the house at 15219 Fairview Road as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Detective Sgt. T. Gregory.

Gregory could not elaborate on how the fire started, saying that the information would have to come from fire marshals who investigated the blaze.

However, a spokesman for the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

State police investigators interviewed McMullen's friends and determined that he had given away money and other property before his death, Gregory said.

Authorities with the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore also examined some of McMullen's remains as part of the probe into his cause of death, Gregory said.

McMullen was the husband of Robin McMullen, who leased the house on Fairview Road. But the couple had been in the process of separating, Bruce Bouch, a spokesman for the fire marshal's office, said previously.

  Robin McMullen was in Iowa for job training when the fire occurred, and she told authorities that no one else should have been in the residence at the time, authorities have said.

  The fire was discovered at about 5 a.m. on May 27. The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, Maugansville Fire Chief William Garrett said on the day of the fire.

 Authorities said the first and second floors of the house collapsed into the basement.  

 On June 7, fire and insurance company investigators discovered McMullen's remains as debris was being removed from the fire scene.

Bouch said previously that authorities might never know what started the fire because of the extent of damage to the structure.

Harry McMullen was a square-dancing enthusiast, Edgar Brindle of Shippensburg, Pa., said previously. Brindle was a friend of McMullen's and a fellow dancer.

 Brindle said he last saw McMullen at a dance in Fairfield, Pa., on May 25 and he seemed "happy."

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