Coroner completes Holmes death investigation

William C. Holmes

The Monroe County coroner’s office released its findings in the July 8 death of a 23-year-old Waterloo man who was discovered in a burned-out old farmhouse at 968 North Moore Street.

The body of William C. Holmes Jr. was located while firefighters were extinguishing hot spots at the former Carlyle Hartman farmstead, which had sat vacant at the edge of Waterloo city limits for at least 25 years.

Waterloo firefighters responded about 1 a.m. July 8 to a flaming two-story farmhouse located at the end of a long muddy trail and returned multiple times throughout the day.

On Sunday, Monroe County Coroner Vicki Koerber said her office had completed its investigation into the Holmes case and determined his cause of death to be “carbon monoxide toxicity with thermal injuries.”

The manner of death could not be determined, Koerber said.

Citing an excerpt from the Illinois state fire marshal’s report, “the cause of fire will be listed as undetermined,” Koerber added.

Koerber thanked the efforts of Waterloo police detective Jeff Prosise, Illinois State Fire Marshal Greg Vespa and the Illinois State Police crime scene investigations unit for their work on the case.

In March, Holmes was charged with two counts of knowingly burning after allegedly setting fires that destroyed playground equipment at Brinkop Park in St. Louis County. Holmes was a senior at the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary when that alleged crime occurred.

Waterloo police said they received a missing persons report of a potentially suicidal male shortly after midnight on July 8 and believed the body found in the farmhouse was of that individual.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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