CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities in St. Louis County say a man found dead in a burning apartment unit in August was the victim of a homicide.
The victim, 62-year-old James Kwiatkowski, was found dead in apartment on Aug. 2.
Authorities on Thursday announced second-degree murder charges against 27-year-old Brandon Gaertner of Arnold.
He is jailed on $100,000 cash-only bond. His attorney says he will plead not guilty.
A probable cause statement says police and fire crews responding to the early-morning fire put out the blaze and then found the victim’s body in a closet.
An autopsy revealed that Kwiatkowski died of blunt force trauma.