published Sunday, January 1st, 2012, updated Jan. 1st, 2012 at 6:50 p.m.

Homicide suspected in Cleveland, Tenn., hotel fire

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    Russell Brown, 36, is the subject of warrants for aggravated arson is wanted for questioning in the Cleveland slaying.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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    Harold Lee Montgomery
    Bradley County Sheriff's Office

Cleveland police have identified the man found in a burning hotel room this morning and are seeking a second man who is suspected of knifing him and setting the room afire.

Harold Lee Montgomery, 39, of Cleveland, was found in room 117 by Cleveland firefighters responding to a fire call at the Days Inn, 2550 Georgetown Road, city police spokeswoman Evie West said this afternoon.

West said Montgomery was wounded by a sharp-edged weapon similar to a knife. Firefighters tried to save him but he died at the scene, she said.

Police are looking for a second man witnesses said was in the room with Montgomery. Sunday night, police named Russell Brown, 36, as the subject of warrants for aggravated arson and said Brown is wanted for questioning in the slaying.

Police believe the killer slashed the victim, set the room afire and fled in Montgomery's car, a black Volkswagen Cabriolet with a white top. It has a Tennessee tag, A5787Y, West said.

When the fire was discovered, hotel staff evacuated other guests and no one was injured, West said.

She said police don't yet know the motive for the attack.

Stay with the Times Free Press for new information as it develops.

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