UPDATE: Body of man in home explosion identified

Law enforcement officials say the next of kin have been notified

ROCKVILLE, Md. -
Police in Montgomery County said they have identified the man who died in Friday’s devastating house explosion in a Rockville neighborhood.
 
Montgomery County Police officials said the victim was resident Steven Martin Beck, 61.
 
The Chief Medical Examiner indicated in his autopsy that Beck's official cause of death was a suicide due to a gunshot wound.
 
Police also said a dog was also found dead and pulled from the remains of the house. After an examination, it was determined that the dog also died from a gunshot wound, believed to be inflicted by Beck.
 
Officials said the house explosion happened early Friday morning on Ashley Drive. The following day, fire investigators found the remains of the victim. Fire and rescue officials said the explosion also damaged nine vehicles and ten homes in the area.
 
Law enforcement officials said that Beck's next of kin have been notified
 
"As part of the complete investigation, our detectives will want to interview family members,” said Public Information Officer, Rick Goodale. “They'll want to look at Mr. Beck's finances [and] his past -- anything that could give them a reason as to why the events unfolded the way they did."
 
The police and fire department are now working together to create a clear timeline of what happened from the moment of those fatal gunshots to the destruction of the house and what exactly caused it. 
 
---
 
After two days of being shut down, the Rockville neighborhood where a huge explosion took place has finally been reopened.
 
Cars were allowed to pass freely after Maryland Department of Transportation employees finished clearing debris from the road around Grayling Lane and Ashley Drive. However, the sidewalk remained covered in mud, and MDOT workers said the mysterious explosion may have contained asbestos and other harmful chemicals.
 
This all comes after search crews pulled the remains of one adult and an animal from the building on Saturday.
 
Efforts to identify the victim have already begun.
 
"It causes a lot of trauma to a human body. In this particular case, the victim was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy," said Montgomery County Police Spokesman Rick Goodale. "The first priority is going to be trying to identify who this person was, and, once we make an identification, we can make family identifications."
 
Reports indicate that utilities had previously been turned off to the house, which was in foreclosure and was set to be sold. 

Latest News

Video Center