DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The remains of a woman were found Sunday as fire crews were battling a blaze at a home in Daytona Beach, according to fire department officials.
Officials said police were initially called to a home on Cannon Street about a domestic disturbance reporting a person attacking an elderly woman. When they arrived at the home, they saw flames coming from it and requested fire crews to the scene.
Firefighters rushed into the home and found the body of a woman a few feet from the front door with what seemed to be a machete and a pair of scissors near here, according to an arrest report.
The victim was identified as Viola Miller. Authorities said she died prior to the fire, likely from blunt force trauma.
Detectives said a man was captured on surveillance video walking out of the front yard of the home. The man was confronted by an officer and then bolted, a report reads.
Daytona Beach police said they arrested Deandre Anderson, 33, on Monday. He is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and is being held without bond in the Volusia County Jail.
Family members said their grandmother was living here with someone before this all happened.
“She did so much for people,” said Katrina Butler, Miller’s granddaughter. “Like, she actually went to the coalition, she fed the homeless. She did a lot. She really did.”
Authorities are working to find out how Miller died and what led to the house fire. Family members said they are devastated.
“She ain’t even gotta like you, but if you’ve got nothing and nowhere to go she’ll still be there for you,” Butler said.
Crews said one cat was also pulled from the blaze. The condition of the animal is unknown at this time.