WARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WKRN) — One man is dead and another was taken into custody in Tennessee for multiple charges — including murder and arson — following a house fire in Kentucky earlier this week.
Shortly before 4 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said it was called out to help with a fire in the 600 block of Penns Chapel Road.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the house fully engulfed in flames. But after the fire was extinguished, crews discovered a dead man — identified by officials as 45-year-old Wendell Leon Reynolds Jr. of Bowling Green — inside the home.
Not only did detectives from the sheriff’s office and fire investigators from the Bowling Green Police Department reportedly respond to the incident, but the State Fire Marshal was also notified.
According to the sheriff’s office, the autopsy identified injuries that were inconsistent with a fire exposure as the cause of death.
Following “additional interviews and accounts of actions leading up to the fire,” authorities announced they developed a person of interest.
On Thursday, Feb. 23, detectives said they crossed the state border and traveled to Clarksville to conduct a second interview with the suspect — Sean Alexander Birge, 28, of Bowling Green — who ended up sharing details and confessing to Reynolds’ murder.
With the assistance of the Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Birge was arrested and held at the Montgomery County Jail on a warrant for murder, arson, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse, officials said.
As of this writing, authorities said they are seeking to extradite Birge from Tennessee to Kentucky so he can face the charges against him.
“Those assisting at the scene or with this investigation were the Bowling Green Fire Department Investigators, Richardsville Volunteer Fire Department, JC Kirby Corner’s Office, Bowling Green Police and Warren County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Processors, and Medical Center EMS,” the Warren County Sheriff’s Office stated in a Facebook post. “I’d like to also thank the Clarksville TN. Police for their assistance in facilitating their department to conduct our interview.”