Suspect Charged in Cedar Rapids House Fire Homicide
On Thursday, March 31 the body of Robyn Furmanski, 62, was pulled from a fire in her condominium located at 1218 Oakland Road NE in Cedar Rapids. Her death, at first glance, may have looked like it had been caused from the fire itself, but it has now been determined that Furmanski died before the fire even started.
Based on the police investigation, the manner of death has been ruled as a homicide. The State Medical Examiner's Office reported that Furmanski's died from blunt force head injuries, smoke inhalation, and thermal injuries. After an investigation by the Fire Department, it was determined that the fire at Robyn's residence was intentionally set and that an accelerant was used to start it.
Onyale Vantress Hughes, 43, has been charged with murder in the First Degree. Police officers found Furmanski's prescription medications in the possession of Hughes and Furmanski's blood was found on Hughes' clothing, as determined by a DNA analysis by the Division on Criminal Investigation Criminalistics Laboratory.
In addition to the homicide charge, Hughes is being charged with Arson and Robbery in the First Degrees. The suspect is currently serving a mittimus (court order) in the Tama County jail.
The Police Department and the Linn County Attorney's Office continue to work in cooperation on this case to bring it to justice.
[Via City of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Police Department]