ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Police are treating the case of a man found inside a burning Alpharetta home as a homicide.
Firefighters said they arrived on scene around 1 a.m. Saturday morning on Birch Rill Drive. The front of the house was already in flames.
But police believe the victim, described only as an Hispanic male, was dead before the fire.
Alpharetta police detectives are investigating the incident, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime scene unit was also on the scene.
The fact that it even happened in this Alpharetta neighborhood on edge.
"I was going to the market about 8:00 this morning and I noticed that all the cops were here and stuff," one neighbor said.
Neighbors said the unidentified victim didn't speak English but often smiled. They'd walk by and wave.
"It's just a tragedy here because everyone has a mom and even this young man does in this world on Mother's Day weekend," one neighbor said.
Others offered their thoughts and condolences.
"My prayers go out to them," one said. "We don't know that person but I'm sure he has a family. We are very sorry that that happened."
In the last two years, there have been a few other incidents including a meth lab bust that turned into a police stand-off in the area. And the homicide suspect still on the loose is giving residents another reason to be vigilant.
"It's crime related and it kind of concerns me a little," one man said. "I still feel safe but probably something I need to process for a while and see if I need to move out of the neighborhood."
Meanwhile, another neighbor sees this is a sign of the times in the area.
"I do feel my safety in here but now we need to start waking up every day and realize that this world is not what it was 30 years ago," a woman who lives nearby said.
Investigators are still piecing together how this all happened. They haven't yet identified a suspect but urge anyone with information to come forward.