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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Body found in Bend house fire

Thursday, July 1, 2004

FATAL FIRE: The embers are still smoking from a lethal fire that swept through this Hoseshoe Bend home. A body believed to be that of the house owner was taken from the scene.
Staff Writer

A woman died in a house fire June 28 in Horseshoe Bend. "At this time we cannot positively identify the body as Jody Tomlinson's, but we presume it is her," said Horseshoe Bend Police Chief Fred Mitchell Jr.

Tomlinson, 46, was the owner and lone occupant of the house.

According to the Horseshoe Bend Police Department, at 12:25 a.m. a call came into the Horseshoe Bend dispatch that a house was burning on Arkansas Avenue.

Horseshoe Bend Police Officer Carl Boles said when he arrived, Tomlinson's house was engulfed in flames. Boles said he knew the house belonged to Tomlinson and began to search for her.

He said he tried to enter the house through a door on the back porch but the heat prevented him from entering. Boles said he called for Tomlinson through a broken window, but there was no response.

He said after the fire was extinguished he found a bone sticking up through the ashes. The bone belonged to the victim.

Mitchell said the body was taken by Izard County Coroner Eddie Howard and will be sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification.

Investigators believe the fire started in or near Tomlinson's bedroom. The cause of the fire is unknown but the investigation is ongoing, said Mitchell.

Tomlinson was the head of composition at the Pacesetting Times and was the former president of the Eagles Club Auxiliary in Horseshoe Bend.

Tomlinson had previously worked as a dispatcher at the Horseshoe Bend Police Department and also in the composition department at Areawide Media in Salem.

"I was unbelievably shocked when I heard about the fire at Jody's," said current Eagles Auxiliary Secretary Jerry Nissen. Nissen said Jody was well liked in the community and had been an active member at the Eagles since she was 21 years old.

"She was certainly capable at any job she had," he said.

Nissen said the last time he saw Tomlinson was on her birthday June 25. He said she seemed to be in good spirits.

Chief Mitchell said Tomlinson was dealing with the recent loss of her husband.

Nissen said Randy Tomlinson died of a respiratory ailment on his birthday Feb. 4. Randy Tomlinson suffered from throat cancer.

Another Eagles member said Jody Tomlinson was "always happy and full of energy."

"We are going to miss her," said the disbelieving member.Confirmation of the deceased's identity and the cause of the fire were not available at press time.

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