published Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Corpse found in remains of East Ridge fire identified as male

East Ridge and state officials said the body found after a fire in a former restaurant on Dec. 25 was a male.

But the identity of the male whose remains were found inside the ashes of the destroyed structure is still under investigation.

The East Ridge Fire Department and the state's bomb and arson investigators say the cause of the fire at 6715 Ringgold Road, a seafood restaurant previously known as the Hungry Fisherman and Tripp's Seafood, is officially undetermined.

The seafood restaurant opened in 1974. The building had been vacant for several years.

Police have not announced whether the body found inside was a victim of the fire, or if the man was dead before the blaze began.

Fire officials say the remains belong to a male about 17 to 35 years old, who was between 5 feet, 5 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches tall and who weighed 150 to 170 pounds.

The remains will be sent to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville's anthropology department for further analysis, according to an East Ridge Fire Department news release issued Monday.

Officials do not suspect foul play was involved.

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