AKRON, Ohio — Akron police are investigating a homicide after the body of a 48-year-old man was found burning behind a house in North Hill early Tuesday morning.
Just before 1 a.m., officers responded to a missing person call in the 50 block of Vesper Street.
During a search, officers found the victim with severe thermal burns in the 60 block of West Tallmadge Avenue.
The victim was pronounced dead at 1:18 a.m. Tuesday. His identity has not been released.
"This is a very tragic, very horrific way to die," said Lt. Michael Miller.
During the investigation, detectives developed information linking 44-year-old Goerge Bilbrey to the crime. After questioning, Bilbrey was charged with murder and arson. He's being held in the Summit County Jail.
According to Miller, Bilbrey made the original phone call to police to report the victim missing.
There have been 13 homicides in Akron in 2021 compared to seven homicides at this time last year.
According to statistics released by Akron police, officers responded to 386 calls involving shots fired during the first two months of the year, up from 271 calls during the same time period in 2020.
Miller said gun seizures are also up. 187 guns were taken off the streets in January and February of 2021 compared to 131 guns during those in months in 2020.
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