March 14 Fire Victim Identified as 62-Year-Old Drifter

March 14 Fire Victim Identified as 62-Year-Old Drifter

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Early this morning, the victim found deceased on March 14 in a mobile home located at 221 Teresa Street in Salem, IN, has been identified by the Kentucky Medical Examiners Office in Louisville, KY.

The victim is identified as Jefferey Charles Givan, 62, living as a Nomad in and around the Pekin and Salem, IN areas.

The positive identification came from dental records. A definitive cause of death has not been determined in this investigation pending further test results. 

An autopsy was performed March 15 on the human body found inside of the burnt mobile home.

At approximately 7:00 pm on March 14, a fire was reported to the Salem City Fire Department. 

After the fire was extinguished, Givan’s body was located inside of the mobile home. 

Joshua B. Risinger, 28, 221 South Teresa Street, was booked into the Washington County Detention Center later that evening after being interviewed by Indiana State Police detectives. 

Risinger allegedly told police he killed a man named “Gilbert” by starting a fire in the home. He has been charged with one count of Murder, a Class A Felony.

He pled not-guilty in Washington County Circuit Court on March 16. 

The pre-trial conference has been set for April 20 at 9a. 

The jury trial has been set for Oct. 3 at 8:30a. 

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by ISP Detective Matt Busick, Risinger told police the mobile home belonged to him. 

Det. Busick said this was not a complete statement of facts, but established probable cause for police to make the arrest. 

Risinger was held without bond. 

Salem Fire Department received the call at 7:03p after Lenny Hays called 911 and said her neighbors house was on fire. 

Salem Fire Department firefighters were on the scene from about 7p until early Wednesday investigating the fire. When they had extinguished the fire, fire fighters found a deceased body inside the mobile home. 

The home was located at 212 Teresa Street and was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. 

According to police, mobile home park manager Roddy Humphrey said he saw a man he knew lived in the burning home walking through the mobile home park. 

Humphrey said the man was wearing a jacket, had something over his head and was carrying a duffel bag. 

Salem Police Officer Alex Bilbrey patrolled the area and found the man walking on Jackson Street. 

Bilbrey along with Assistant Police Chief Tim Miller stopped him and he was identified as Risinger and the owner of the home. He told police, according to the affidavit, that the trailer was on fire and he had just walked away. 

Miller came to the scene of the fire and was told by officer Russell Wilcoxson that fire fighters had found the body in the middle of the living room. 

Originally the State Police noted that Risinger was arrested on Arson and Murder charges. However, Risinger has only officially been charged with murder. 

According to the Washington County Prosecutor’s office, the Prosecutor’s office chose to file only [a] murder [charge] at this time because it appears that the fire was started with the intent to kill.

The Salem City Police Department was at the scene and requested Indiana State Police Crime Scene Investigators and Indiana State Police Detectives to assist at the scene. 

The Washington County Prosecutor, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Fire Marshall and the Washington County Coroner are assisting in the investigation.