Police, fire marshal investigating body found in burned bed

Published 9:25 pm Saturday, September 16, 2017

The death of a 28-year-old Selma man is under investigation after his body was found Friday night in a burned bed.

Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier said Vaughn Boswell’s body was found around 8:30 p.m. Friday night after officers were dispatched to a home on the 400 block of Young Street.
“The call went out as a dead body and not a fire, so we responded,” Collier said.

Collier said Boswell’s death is under investigation by the Selma Police Department and the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office.

“We think the fire occurred on Thursday,” Collier said. “It was contained to the victim’s bed, but there were clear signs of a fire. The bed was burned, as was the victim.”
Collier said there were no signs of foul play involved.

“At this point we believe he was smoking in bed and caught his bed on fire,” he said. “It looks like the fire self-extinguished and was just contained to the bed.”

Collier said there was no fire when police were called to the scene. The initial cause of death is by fire, but Collier said an autopsy will determine the exact cause.

“Right now, we attribute the death to fire,” he said. “We’ll have to wait on an autopsy to see if [the cause of death] was smoke inhalation or actual burns, but unfortunately the victim was clearly burned.”

Boswell’s body will be sent to Montgomery for an autopsy by the Alabama Department of Forensic Science to determine an exact cause of death.

“They’ll do an autopsy, and if there is searing in the lungs, they’ll know he died of smoke inhalation,” Collier said. “The ultimate determination will be by the fire marshal.”