A man was found dead inside a Spanaway duplex early Sunday after crews responded to a fire there, and the Sheriff's Office is investigating the death as a homicide.
Crews from Central Pierce Fire & Rescue responded to the scene, in the 300 block of Field Road East in Spanaway, at about 1 a.m.
The fire was a minor one and was quickly extinguished - but crews found the body of a 21-year-old man inside the home who had suffered a violent death, said Pierce County Sheriff's Office spokesman Ed Troyer.
The man was already dead before the fire started, and Troyer said it appears he was killed and then the fire was started by the killer in an attempt to cover it up.
According to family members at the scene, the victim's throat was slit, but officials would not confirm the cause of death, other than to say it was violent - but not a gunshot wound.
Troyer said one or two possible suspects have been identified, and no arrests have been made. He said the motive is under investigation.
But family members told KOMO News that the victim may have been killed in a dispute over a woman.
The woman who owns the duplex was not there because she is currently at Western State Hospital, according to family members.
Family members also said that the 21-year-old victim had attended a barbecue at a friend's house on Saturday night, but the host asked him to leave after he became drunk and obnoxious.
The man left the barbecue without incident, and an hour or two later he was found dead inside the Spanaway duplex.
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