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One of 4 Quartz Hill bodies identified

June 24, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A fire at a home in the Antelope Valley is now considered a multiple murder case. Four bodies were found inside, badly burned. Two of them were children.It happened on N. 45th Street in Quartz Hill Monday.

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One of the victims has been identified as 60-year-old Joseph Ciganek. According to friends, he and his wife lived in the house for a few years. L.A. County firefighters responded to a house fire at the location Monday. When the fire was put out, the house became a crime scene.

It was approximately noon when a family friend loaded up her SUV with coolers and the family's dogs. Reportedly, the wife of one of the victims left without saying a word to reporters. Her best friend said those who died inside the house where her best friend's husband, her cousin, her cousin's two young children -- they were here, according to the family friend, to stay away from the cousin's husband. The couple is separated.

"They've been in a miserable life," said family friend Kathy Lee. "The guy was jealous."

L.A. County Fire Department got the call of a house fire Monday afternoon just after 5 p.m. After they put it out, firefighters discovered the four charred bodies.

"They were nice, warm, good people, good family people," said one neighbor.

A neighbor who never met the victims wanted to come by to pay her respects.

"I just wanted to let the families know that we're supporting them and praying for them during this difficult time. This is part of our neighborhood, too," said neighbor Debbi Mills.

Sheriff's homicide investigators aren't saying much about what they're looking in to, or who they are looking for. They just know they've got a quadruple homicide on their hands.

"Throughout the investigation, it was determined the nature of the fire is suspicious, as well as their deaths, so it's now a homicide investigation," said Sgt. Howard Cooper, L.A. County Sheriff's Dept.

Kathy Lee said she met the cousin's daughter not too long ago. The daughter shared with her her aspirations to someday attend Yale Law School. She says the young girl just finished the 10th grade.

Who did this and why is still under investigation.

Eyewitness News Reporter Leanne Suter contributed to this report.

 

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