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Detroit Firefighter Found Beaten To Death Inside Home

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit police are investigating the murder of a city firefighter who was killed inside his own home.

David Madrigal, 59, was found dead Monday inside his home on Vaughan Street, near Tireman and Evergreen on the city's west side.

Police initially said Madrigal had been shot twice in the head, but it turned out they were mistaken.

An autopsy by the Wayne County Medical Examiner, later in the day, showed the official cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.  The death was ruled a homicide.

Family members grew concerned after not hearing from Madrigal for days, so his son went to check on him and discovered his body on the floor of the home, according to police. It's not yet clear how long Madrigal might have been dead.

Police say Madrigal's house was ransacked. Several items were missing from inside the home and his 2015 Harley Davidson-model Ford Explorer was also stolen.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday morning that Madrigal's SUV has since been recovered on Bangor Street, about 10 miles east of his home. The vehicle was burned-out.

Other circumstances surrounding the incident remain unclear.

Halston Benning, who lives across the street from Madrigal, said the neighborhood might be quiet but it's not the safest.

"He wasn't doing nothing suspicious or, I didn't know if he had any enemies or anything like that," he said. "It was probably just somebody, you know, this neighborhood, you know, they break in a lot over here. They broke in my house."

Friends say Madrigal was assigned to Engine 33 and had planned on retiring this June.

This is just the latest tragedy to hit the fire department. Officials say Madrigal is the third firefighter to die since October.

Anyone who might have information on the case is urged to contact police at 313-596-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

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