Murder suspect identified in case of burned body found in Rusk C - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Murder suspect identified in case of burned body found in Rusk County home

Dustin Vanhalst (Courtesy Smith County Sheriff's Office) Dustin Vanhalst (Courtesy Smith County Sheriff's Office)
John Clements (Source: Family photo) John Clements (Source: Family photo)
The man's body was found inside this burned home. (Source: KLTV News Staff) The man's body was found inside this burned home. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An arrest has been made in the death of a man found in a burned Rusk County home.

Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith told KLTV 7 Wednesday night that Dustin Lynn Vanhalst, 33, of Kilgore, is charged with murder. He was arrested Wednesday in Arp, and has already been transferred from Smith County to Rusk County.

The body of John "Jay" Cecil Clements, 56, a Kilgore resident, was found inside a a burned house in the 7000 block of County Road 291 in Rusk County after midnight on Friday morning. On Tuesday, Clements' death was ruled a homicide.

Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price says a preliminary autopsy indicated that Clements was killed, although the full report has not been returned. The cause of his death has not been released.

Neighbors say they woke up to the sound of explosions early Friday morning. When emergency crews arrived on the scene, they found a small home had burned. Clements body was discovered inside. An arson investigation began, authorities say. Investigators were seen sifting through the ashes and debris at the scene of the blaze for evidence.

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