Leesburg Man Charged With Murder of Father Whose Body Was Found After Home Burned

A Leesburg, Virginia, man has been charged in the death of his father, whose body was found inside a burning home last week.

Authorities said the victim, 52-year-old Mario M. Bowles, had been fatally shot before the fire in his own home. Officials are investigating Bowles' death as a homicide and the fire as arson, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said in a release.

The victim's son, 20-year-old Michael F. Bowles, was taken into custody Tuesday in Fairfax County.

The sheriff's office said the fire was discovered shortly after 5 p.m. July 25 in the victim's home on Steed Hill Lane in Lucketts. However, his body was not found until crews were able to get into the structure the following day.

Loudoun County Fire & Rescue crews arrived at the burning home to find both the first and second floors on fire, officials said. A passerby had reported seeing smoke in the area.

Crews faced challenges with water supply and access because the home was in a rural part of the county and worked throughout the night, officials said.

Authorities discovered the victim's body about 1 p.m. the following day.

He was identified Monday. 

It wasn't immediately clear how Michael Bowles was identified as a suspect.

He is being held at the Fairfax County Detention Center awaiting transport back to Loudoun County.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is conducting a homicide investigation in cooperation with an arson investigation by the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office. 

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