Officials investigating mobile home blaze where 32-year-old man discovered


Firefighters responding to a report of a mobile home fire early Wednesday morning east of North Vernon found a 32-year-old man dead after the fire was extinguished, police report.

An autopsy was conducted at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning to determine the cause of death of Matthew M. Loper, said Lt. Jeff Jones with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department.

The results of that autopsy, conducted by a forensic pathologist at the funeral home of Coroner Eugene Rudicel in North Vernon, are pending, Jones said.

Jones said Loper’s last known address was in Seymour although his Facebook page lists North Vernon as his home.

Police believe Loper, who was the only person found in the mobile home at 2910 E. County Road 200N in eastern Center Township, may have been homeless, Jones said.

“He wasn’t living there,” Jones said.

Police continue to interview people as the case remains under investigation.

Along with Jones and other officers with the sheriff’s department and Rudicel, the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Indiana State Police also are investigating the cause of the fire and Loper’s death. Firefighters with North Vernon-Center Township and Campbell Township extinguished the blaze and are assisting with the investigation too.

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