Death of man found after fire ruled homicide

The body of a 27-year-old Dundalk man was found by Baltimore County firefighters responding to a house fire early yesterday, but police say it appears the man didn't die in the blaze.

Police said they believe Michael Riston of the 7300 block of Manchester Road was the victim of a homicide. Detectives did not say whether they think the fire was set to cover up the killing.


The bedroom fire was out when firefighters arrived at Riston's home shortly before 6:30 a.m., said Elise Armacost, a Fire Department spokeswoman.

Police would not say how Riston, who worked at a nearby McDonald's, was killed.


"The injuries were not consistent with a fire-related death," said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman.

An autopsy is scheduled for today, he said.

No motive or suspects were identified. Police are searching for Riston's missing 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier, with Maryland license plate KGY 616.

Riston lived in the house with his aunt, police said. She could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The killing is the fifth homicide in Baltimore County this year. One has resulted in an arrest. Police are still looking for suspects in three fatal shootings.