The homeless man who was found burned to death on the top floor of a Bronx apartment on Wednesday may have accidentally set himself alight in a drug-fueled stupor, police sources said.
Guillermo Navedo, 39, was discovered dead on the top floor landing of 399 160 Street near the entrance to the apartment’s building’s roof at 11:27 a.m. on Nov. 8. He had been severely burned after firefighters extinguished a 1-alarm fire stemming from the same area.
According to both police and residents, Navedo spent some of his time staying with residents and at others lived in a local homeless shelter, however, at the time he was currently residing inside of the floor landing. Due to his time in the shelter, locals say they were concerned that Navedo has been targeted by other homeless individuals — especially after they told amNewYork Metro that he was spotted that morning arguing with two men.
“I saw him this morning,” Lisa said, a senior who lived in the apartment building. “He was sitting on the benches and got into an argument with some guys.”
Authorities, however, say they do not believe he was targeted. Navedo was known to drink a lot and was apparently in the loft using drugs at the time the fire broke out, leading police and FDNY officials to determine he either set himself on fire or set something in the area ablaze by mistake while intoxicated.
“There was a crack pipe and two lighters found next to his body,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny told amNewYork Metro. “He was found with burns over his entire body.”
Navedo’s death left the community in mourning, with many of his friends remembering an important part of their lives.
“He was a good person; he was always here. It’s really hard because I loved him,” friend Daisy Ortiz told amNewYork Metro. “He lived with me for a while.”
Chief Kenny also cautioned that detectives are still investigating the case and will follow up on any other leads.