Officials: elderly man found dead inside burning West Covina home was stabbed to death; fire ruled arson

WEST COVINA — An autopsy has determined that an 82-year-old West Covina man found dead inside his burning house last week was stabbed to death.
Firefighters discovered the body of Ralph Simonian shortly after 11 a.m. Nov. 15 after responding to a fire at his home in the 900 block of Holiday Drive, investigators said. The fire was later determined to be arson.
Firefighters forced their way into the flaming home before finding Simonian unconscious in a room toward the rear of the house. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
But he did not die as a result of the fire, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
“It was ruled as multiple stab wounds: homicide,” he said.
No suspects were in custody in connection with the killing, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. Further details on the circumstances of the slaying were not released.
An investigation by the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail found the cause of the fire was arson, Sgt. Mike Costleigh said.
He referred further inquiries to homicide investigators.
The home was well-involved with flames when firefighters arrived and took about 30 minutes to extinguished, officials said.

Article source: http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvcrime/2012/11/21/officials-elderly-man-found-dead-inside-burning-w-covina-home-was-stabbed-to-death-fire-ruled-arson/