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Deadly Fire Investigation

Macon County detectives are waiting for the medical examiner's report to positively identify a woman found dead in a rural Macon County home that burned to the ground Saturday.

Sheriff Robert Holland said his detectives are treating the scene as a suspicious homicide investigation, although he says, right now there are no hard clues as to what caused the fire, or whether the female victim found on the second floor died from smoke inhalation or foul play before the fire began.

Seventy-one year-old Day Williamson, a widow, and well-liked by her neighbors has been missing since the fire that destroyed her home.

Her grandson told detectives he saw her car, a 2003 white Chevy tracker, leave the home at 11:45 am Saturday.  At 3 pm he called 911 when he saw smoke coming from the house and heard popping noises. Williamson has not been seen since. Investigators are trying to find out if Williamson spoke with anyone in the days leading up to the fire.

Meanwhile investigators are looking for fugitive Charles Cochran, who escaped from the Macon County jail last week. Cochran did know Williamson but Darian Cochran who raised Charles as his own son, told News 13 he doesn't believe Charles had anything to do with foul play at Williamson's home.
"He did not do this. I feel this 100%," said Darian Cochran. "He would not have anything to do with a tragedy to Miss Day Williamson. She was very dear to him, like a grandmother. He's known Day since he was about 10."  He wants Chris Cochran to reach out and turn himself in before the situation gets any worse.

Sheriff Holland re-iterated there was no evidence Cochran was connected to foul play at the home but detectives want to speak to him. Cochran knew Williamson from church and also did work to her house several years ago when there was another fire at the house that destroyed the home. Both Day Williamson and her late husband survived that fire and rebuilt their home. That fire it was determined was caused by an electrical problem.

The most compelling piece of evidence of suspicious activity in Saturday's fire, lies in the fact that Macon county investigators found Williamson's car abandoned at 3 am Sunday on the other side of Macon county miles away from the home. The car had about one-quarter tank of gas left in it. Investigators are looking to take prints off the and are searching for all forensic evidence that could turn up D.N.A. and a potential match to a suspect.

The Medical Examiner should have a positive i.d. on the victim found on the second floor of the home under debris from the collapsed roof by Tuesday.

By: Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports


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