Hawkins County Sheriff's, TBI investigating arson, homicide

By: Lorena Estrada Email
By: Lorena Estrada Email

SURGOINSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Bullets rattled the quiet Stanley Valley community in broad daylight Tuesday afternoon.

The Hawkins County Sheriff's Department said Christopher Varalli, 36, was found dead inside George Allen Rd home. He was shot and his killer tried to cover it up by setting his home on fire.

"The mailman was delivering a package to the next door neighbor. He thought maybe someone's smoke alarm went off or there was a problem in the kitchen," Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said. "But then he saw smoke in the back door."

Marty Linkous lives next door to what's become a crime scene. He said he was awakened by fire truck sirens. Linkous told Local 8 News he and the mailman went inside to look for Varalli when they noticed his car was parked outside.

"I pushed open the bathroom door and there he was," Linkous said. "His finger nail was torn off and his shorts were covered in blood."

Investigators placed two doors outside the home: one with four bullet holes and another burned by the fire.

TBI and the Hawkins Sheriff's Department are working together to solve the case. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department: 423-272-4848.

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