Woman found dead in Gary house fire, possible arson

A fire in northwest Indiana is thought to be an arson and an elderly woman was found dead.

Ernestine Hampton is looking for answers at her godmother's home in Gary after learning she was found dead in a suspicious fire.

“I just checked on her, took her to the store, took her to church yesterday and then this...what happened? Was she? I don't know,” Hampton said.

Investigators have many questions, too. Firefighters were called to the 3400 block of Johnson street about 3:20 Thursday morning. They found smoke coming from a home and then inside, they discovered a woman's body.

Relatives have identified the victim as Barbara Booth Walker, who would have turned 80 this summer.

“She was just a nice church going lady, she loved the lord, she was my god mother, she was like my mom, she was a nice person, friendly everybody like her,” Hampton said.

The Gary Fire Department says the fire here appears to arson, leaving friends and relatives wondering why anyone would want to cause Walker harm.

“She didn't have any enemies, I've been knowing her all my life,” Hampton said.

Hampton says Walker lived with her adult grandson, who was reportedly questioned by police. Several departments are now investigating the death and the fire.

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