Police release cause of death in Grandview arson

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- Police investigating a Grandview arson case said Thursday the two people who died were alive at the time of the fire.

"The belief we have is that both parties died there in that fire." Dean Van Winkle with the Grandview Police Department said.

The Jackson County Medical Examiner's office determined the preliminary cause of death is smoke inhalation and thermal injury -- basically heat related injuries and burns.

"That's pending the toxicology reports coming back from the medical examiners office," Van Winkle said. "At that point we are hoping to have the final report from the Medical Examiner's Office."

Police said 37-year-old Anika Hobley and a 14-month-old baby died in the fire. Hobley was found in the basement of the home. She did not live in the home and was not related to anyone in the family. Neighbors said she was the babysitter. Police said the father of the 14-month-old told police a different story.

"She wasn't the babysitter for anybody, and she was known by the father of the baby who was burned himself, but that's all we know," Van Winkle said.

Police said they are still investigating, waiting on the report from the State Fire Marshall and the medical examiner's final report before deciding if they will take this arson case to the prosecutor.

"We just have to talk to enough people that will be honest with us," Van Winkle said. "The story usually comes out. Fire officials say they know what caused the fire and where it started but are not saying until the investigation is complete."