Police: Man, 91, found in house fire was shot in head

- The body of a 91-year-old man was found after a fire early Monday morning.

Why would someone kill Paul Monchnik, who his family and neighbors describe as a quiet TV repairman, humble father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

"I hear these stories all the time going to work, and I think I'm glad it's not my dad, and this is the day that it is," said Monchnik's son. "He was a good man. Would have been nice for him to go out in his own time, in his own way, but that is not where we are at."

Detroit police say early Monday morning, fire crews arrived to Monchnik's burning home. Firefighters on the scene told Fox 2 that Monchnik was found lying on his back with his hands up. Moments before the blaze, neighbors say they noticed something odd.

"I was on the phone with my girlfriend and I looked over and I told her, 'Oh, he's at it again. He's about to go collect some TVs. But it's 2 a.m. what's he doing up?' And I just [saw] the person driving off with his car. Two minutes later, I walk in the house and we smell fire," said Gerald Stewart III, Monchnik's neighbor.

Police say Monchnik's body was badly burned, with extensive fire damage throughout his home. They don't believe the flames are what killed Monchnik.

According to the police report, investigators say it appears Monchnik was shot in the top of his head with cuts to his face and hand, but no weapon found inside.

Police believe this man, who was caught on video surveillance, stole Monchnik's Chevy Venture van, which was still missing Monday afternoon.

"In order for the suspect to cover his tracks, he decided to go, leave the location, obtain some gasoline, return and set the victim and the home on fire," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

As a family is heartbroken, Detroit police ask you to take a close look at this man, thought to be from the neighborhood, in his early 20s. The man was last seen wearing a red or orange skull cap and a gray hoodie.

"I don't know what they could've wanted. No making sense of any of that," said Monchnik's son.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories