Local News

Officials Investigate Durham Fatal Fire; Victim Identified

Posted June 19, 2000

— Investigators say a deadly fire in Durham was not an accident. They are calling it a murder.

The body of Vivian Leak, 47, was found in the garage. Police have not said whether Leak died in the fire or from another cause, but they are handling the case as a homicide. The house belongs to Reverend John Leak, the victim's husband.

Residents on Lullwater Court in the Grove Park subdivision called the fire department just after 6 a.m. Tuesday when they saw flames and smoke coming from the garage of their neighbor's house.

Firefighters were able to put out the blaze quickly and check the house for other fires. There were none.

Authorities then discovered a body inside of the garage. WRAL learned the front door was ajar when the first investigators arrived.

Neighbors say police had been to the home in the past, several times for apparent domestic disputes, and at least once recently for a reported break-in.

There is no word on whether any previous incidents are related to Tuesday's fire. An investigation into the cause of death is on-going at this time.


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