Home set alight to hide murder: police

Police believe a fire at a Melbourne house where a body was found on Tuesday was lit to conceal a murder.

Detectives suspect the body is of a 33-year-old hair dresser who lived in the Mordialloc home, The Age reports.

The hair dresser is being treated as a missing person until police can formally identify the remains.

Police say the identification process could take several more days.

“We think the deceased is that (missing) woman obviously (but) we’ve got to go through a DNA comparison analysis to establish that forensically,” Detective Inspector John Potter told radio station 3AW.

“We’re after anyone that knows the occupant at 494 Como Parade … that may be able to help us with her movements … and in particular anyone who thinks they might be able to help with (information about) how she was killed,’’ he said.

Police and fire crews were called to the scene about 5.20am (AEDT) on Tuesday to find the roof had collapsed and the home engulfed in flames.

Neighbours have told police they heard a heated argument a short time before the home exploded in the deliberately lit fire.

Police have dismissed initial reports that the blaze may have been sparked by an exploding clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.

An autopsy has determined woman’s cause of death but police have refused to release the results.

They have also declined to say how the fire started citing “operational reasons”.

No drugs or drug paraphernalia were recovered from the gutted home but police have refused to rule out the possibility that the death is in some way linked to the drug trade.

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