3rd body found in Malabar house fire, believed intentionally set

By Caitlin Wilson, Brevard County Reporter

Three bodies were found inside a home in Malabar that deputies think was intentionally set on fire on Sunday.

Investigators think the fire was intentionally set to cover up the homicides, due to evidence found at the scene. 

Firefighters were called to a two-story house in the 800 block of Atz Road at about 10:30 a.m.

“By the time they heard the loud boom and got down there, maybe 3 minutes had passed, and they said it was just a crazy fire, extremely tall and burning fast," neighbor Jonathan Mallory said. "It was definitely very weird. You could tell something different was going on.” 

Officials think the home was occupied by Tony and Chrissy Hughes and Chrissy's 9-year-old son, Sebastian Meachum.

The fourth person known to have been an occupant of the residence is Chrissy Hughes' sister, 39-year-old Linda Woods, of Bella Vista, Arkansas. 

During a recovery search of the home, fire crews discovered the remains of two adult females and a child inside. 

Officials said a preliminary examination of one of the female victims revealed trauma that indicates she was killed before the start of the fire. 

According to witness statements, there have been some recent domestic issues between Tony and Chrissy Hughes. 

Investigators also found a truck and boat trailer registered to the Hughes' at Christenson's Landing on Sunday. The truck was running at the boat ramp with the trailer submerged, and the boat was missing, they said.

The Coast Guard recovered the missing 18-foot "Grady White" motorboat driving in circles approximately 7 miles offshore of Sebastian Inlet. Officials said the boat was unoccupied, and suspected blood evidence was found in the vessel. 

The Coast Guard is currently conducting a recovery effort in the area where the boat was located.

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