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Police ID body found in burnt shed

Posted August 11, 2013
Updated August 12, 2013

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— The brother of a man whose body was found inside a shed that burned down Sunday in Fayetteville said he spotted smoke and broke a window trying to save him.

But David Pittman said it was too late for 54-year-old Williman Pittman.

Authorities have not determined the cause of the fire, which broke out about 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the small gray shed behind William Pittman's home at 5405 Cardigon Court.

However, David Pittman said his brother often smoked in bed and likely fell asleep with a lit cigarette.

William Pittman was mentally ill and had been living in the shed for several months, David Pittman said. He refused to live in the house and would go for days at a time without leaving or answering the door.

Fayetteville police said foul play is not suspected. Pittman's body has been sent to the medical examiner to determine exact cause of death.

Neighbor Tara Smith said despite his mental illness, William Pittman often came over to check on her husband, who is in hospice care.

“He was a good man,” she said. “He kept to himself. He was always doing some time of yard work or basically kept to himself.”

Pittman was diagnosed with schizophrenia 25 years ago and was in and out of psychiatric hospitals, his brother said.

His death marked the third for the family in the last nine days. An aunt and cousin both just died from cancer, David Pittman said.
 

11 Comments

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  • thinkin out loud Aug 12, 2013

    If the shed burned "down" as the story says, why is there a picture of a shed that is still standing though burned inside?

  • 678devilish Aug 12, 2013

    A tragedy. My condolences to the brother, family and friends. Continue to hold on to God's unchanging hands and He will see all of you through this difficult time.

  • jenforthewin Aug 12, 2013

    I'm sorry, but a man is dead and another man just lost his brother, after losing an aunt & cousin to cancer. Is the grammer really the issue here, people? Get lives and have some compassion for this family! -- tmp32100

    They didn't even spell the man's name correctly.

  • VW girl 2013 Aug 12, 2013

    I'm sorry, but a man is dead and another man just lost his brother, after losing an aunt & cousin to cancer. Is the grammer really the issue here, people? Get lives and have some compassion for this family!

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 12, 2013

    Dirty, I believe burnt in proper English terms is classified as a verb.

  • dontstopnow Aug 12, 2013

    WRAL, please have these articles proofed before you publish them. I am not going to point out all the errors, but they are bad and surely you have someone to look them over before they go live.

    Did get the gist of the story though and sad for the family.

  • Dirty_Water Aug 12, 2013

    Mea culpa... an adjective. Poor proofreading in my excitement to be published.

  • Dirty_Water Aug 12, 2013

    Since I care, I researched 'burned' vs 'burnt'. It seems both are acceptable as past tense of burn or as a adjective. The more common usage in the US is 'burned' as the past tense and 'burnt' as the adjective. "She burned the toast and had the gall to serve the burnt toast to her mother in law." However, if you're in the UK, be sure to reverse the usage. Brits, you know.

  • gingerlynn Aug 12, 2013

    methlab?

  • chrisnrali Aug 12, 2013

    Actually I'd be alarmed if there wasn't a murder in fayetteville in the news.

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