Body found months after Dayton fire, family wants answers

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The body of James Briscoe, 41, was found April 27 in the basement of a house at 128 S. Irwin St. that burned Dec. 23, a day after Briscoe was reported missing.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 1:28 p.m. (May 3):

Family members and the girlfriend of a man reported missing in December are asking for answers after his body was found last week in the basement of a Dayton home severely damaged by fire at the time the man disappeared.

James Briscoe, 41, has been identified as the deceased man, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

>> RELATED: Fire at vacant home appears to be suspicious, firefighters say

His family had reported Briscoe missing in December just days after Dayton firefighters had responded to a house fire in the 100 block of South Irwin Street on Dec. 23.

>> RELATED: Dayton police need help locating suspicious missing person

Donna Briscoe, the man’s sister, today said that investigators told them they believe her brother was in the house at the time of the fire.

However, his body was discovered just last week by a neighbor who was looking for his dog.

Donna Briscoe said the family believes James Briscoe could have been the victim of foul play. Dayton officials have not commented publicly on the case.

Eva-Joy Humphreys, who said she was James Briscoe’s longtime girlfriend, today said, “I don’t understand why the fire department didn’t find his body during the fire on the 23rd. How did the fire department overlook that?”

Humphreys said family members were told “the fire had melted the stairway” and investigators did not go into the basement.

“My question is: don’t they have a protocol that they have to use … to investigate how a fire started?” she asked.

UPDATE @ 5:35 a.m. 5/3/18 

James Briscoe, 41, of Dayton, has been identified as the man found dead in the basement of a vacant home.

Briscoe’s body was found April 27 by a man who entered the house looking for his dog.

The house where Briscoe’s body was discovered caught fire Dec. 23, 2017. The fire started in the basement of the home and reignited several times, according to fire officials.

>> RELATED: Fire at vacant home appears to be suspicious, firefighters say

A missing persons report was filed for a James Briscoe after he was last seen on Dec. 22, 2017, a day before the fire.

>> RELATED: Dayton police need help locating suspicious missing person

The cause of Briscoe’s death has not been released.


A man looking for his dog ended up finding a dead body in the basement of a reportedly vacant home in Dayton Friday afternoon.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Man stabbed in Dayton overnight

Dayton crews were dispatched to the 100 block of South Irwin Street on reports of a body around 5 p.m., according to a police report.

In the one-minute 911 call to dispatchers, the caller explained how he thought he heard his dog in the “burned up house,” so he went in.

“I went to the basement and it’s a dead body,” the caller said.

The incident is currently under investigation.

We are working to learn more details on this incident and will continue to update this story.

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