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The suspicious case of a fire alarm call that led Minneapolis firefighters to a body and no fire last weekend has formally been ruled a homicide, with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner identifying the victim as 67-year-old Duane K. Brown. 

The Minneapolis man's body was found inside an apartment on the 1700 block of 3rd Avenue South just after 9 a.m. Sunday, June 12. Firefighters were responding to a fire alarm call when they arrived at the residence to find the victim, but no fire. Smoke was actually billowing out of a window from food that was burning on the stove, according to charges. 

Minneapolis police said the man was dead from "injuries not related to any fire," though the medical examiner's cause of death is still pending. However, second-degree murder charges filed Tuesday against 55-year-old Charles J. Brown details the brutal discovery. 

According to the criminal complaint, Duane Brown was found dead while Charles Brown was asleep in a bedroom in the apartment. Firefighters found the victim on the living room floor with "a significant quantity of what appeared to be congealed blood pooled around his head," and rigor mortis had set in. 

Surveillance video revealed that both men entered the apartment at about 5 p.m. June 11 and neither left by the time the fire call was made. There were signs of a struggle inside the apartment and "significant blood splatter," including a a stool that had a bend in the seat and "blood spray that indicated it was used to strike [Duane Brown] with significant force."

The victim had also been stabbed in the chest, chin and mouth, charges state. 

Charles Brown had dried blood on his body and under his fingernails, and his bloody shoe prints were tracked through the apartment. He told investigators that he woke up to find the victim dead, and then curled up in ball until firefighters arrived. He denied any involvement in the killing.

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