INDIANAPOLIS — The family of an Indianapolis man found dead after his home was found ablaze believe the death could have been an anti-gay hate crime.
After fire fighters responded to a blaze, the body of 27-year old Bryant Steele was discovered on a bed in the residence’s living room, and he was declared dead on the scene, according to local station WBIW.
Police believe foul play was involved in the fire and death, and WISH-TV is reporting that homicide detectives are now leading an investigation. Police have not yet named any suspects in any criminal investigation.
Steele’s family told WBIW that he was openly gay, and they believe this death was directly related to his sexual orientation. They told the station they believe the fire was a hate crime.
“My cousin was a good person, loving,” Cassandra Wills told WISH-TV. “This didn’t have to happen to him.”