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Man found inside burning home is city’s 30th homicide victim of 2020

The 41-year-old man died from multiple blows to the head; his body was found inside a burning home on Sunday.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The death of a man found inside a burning home on the city’s Northeast Side has been ruled a homicide, Grand Rapids police said.

Sunday's death of 41-year-old Todd Ryan Cappendyk marks the city’s 30th homicide of the year.

Fire crews responded to a 911 call about 11 a.m. Sunday reporting smoke coming from a home on Oakwood Avenue near Kenwood Street NE.

Arriving crews reported that smoke was showing from the one-story residence. 

The unresponsive victim, who used a wheelchair, was found inside. An autopsy determined that he died from multiple blows to the head.

On Tuesday, the front door of the yellow house was boarded up; yellow tape from the fire department remained in the front yard.   

The blaze on Oakwood is the third Grand Rapids house fire in 2020 that has been linked to a homicide.

RELATED: 1 dead, 1 in critical condition after house fire in Grand Rapids

In March, firefighters responded to a house fire on Jennette Avenue NW near 11th Street. A 49-year-old woman was found dead inside; her death has been ruled a homicide. 

Four people died in a February house fire that led to criminal charges. The Feb. 5 blaze on Dawes Avenue SE near 28th Street is the deadliest fire in Grand Rapids this year. 

Wanedia Scales, 34, died at the scene. Her three children, ages 15, 13, and 9, were pronounced dead at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Her husband, 34-year-old Robert K. Scales, was charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. 

RELATED: Court docs: House fire that killed mother, children started in outdoor fire pit

Two people also died in a July house fire on Sheldon Avenue SE near Buckley Street. A 65-year-old woman died at the scene and a 5-year-old child died at the hospital. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Grand Rapids has logged 30 homicides in 2020. It is the deadliest year since 1993, when 34 homicides were recorded.

RELATED: 5-year-old boy, 65-year-old woman identified as victims of Grand Rapids fire

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