Suspicious house fire connected to recent meth lab bust - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Suspicious house fire connected to recent meth lab bust

Jimmy Ray Steed. Source: Calhoun County Jail Jimmy Ray Steed. Source: Calhoun County Jail

Investigators are looking into a suspicious fire that destroyed a home in Piedmont. The homeowner, Jimmy Steed, was in jail on drug charges at the time.

The Calhoun County sheriff says that's the latest bizarre incident in that area that appears to be connected to Steed.

Last Friday, Sheriff Larry Amerson and his investigators served a search warrant on Steed's home. They say they found 15 meth labs and charged him for manufacturing meth.

Tuesday morning, his home on Hughes Road was found engulfed in flames. Sources say Steed lived there, but the home belonged to his family.

The home's location, just off Highway 21, has Sheriff Amerson looking at a number of unsolved cases connected to Steed.

In 1995, Steed lived in another home nearby when his wife, Karen, disappeared. She has never been found.

A man named Patrick Burrows is also missing, after last seen leaving Steed's home. Seven years later, that home also burned. Burrows' motorcycle was later found in a pond.

Not far from there, the body of Carla Fuqua was discovered last December. Fuqua had been missing since 2009.

Sheriff Amerson says they're looking into all of those cases.

"You've just got to ask yourself the question, why? What is the common denominator in that small area? What has been going on there? That's certainly something we've been working on since 1995," Amerson said.

Right now, no one has been charged in those disappearances, or in Carla Fuqua's death.

Steed is in the Calhoun County Jail on $100,000 bond, where he's charged with 15 counts of manufacturing meth.

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