A Wisconsin man is accused of murdering his girlfriend and then setting their home on fire to allegedly cover up the crime, Radar has learned.
Scott Vaningan, 58, faces charges of first-degree intentional, arson, mutilating a corpse, and felony bail jumping in connection with the case.
On July 27, neighbors said they heard Vaningan in an intense argument with his girlfriend at the couple’s home in Chippewa Falls and saw a “bald, white male” leaving on a motorcycle around the time a fire was observed at the residence, the Leader-Telegram reported, citing a criminal complaint.
According to the document, two separate fires started at the home were “indicative of an arson,” and the victim was found “burned beyond recognition” on the porch.
The victim’s daughter was able to identified the woman after viewing a photo of a back tattoo.
An autopsy determined the victim, whose name police have not released, suffered multiple puncture wounds to her neck.
“During the autopsy, it was discovered that there was no soot present in the trachea of the victim, which would be indicative that the female was not breathing during the structure fire,” a court report reads.
Police located and arrested Vaningan at a home in Barron County the day after the deadly incident, according to the Leader-Telegram.
The complaint states the suspect “had what appeared to be blood on his pants and scratch marks on his forearm, consistent with some sort of altercation” and he was allegedly in possession of a bloody box cutter.
Vaningan was being held at the Chippewa County jail on a $1.5 million cash bond.
According to WQOW, if found guilty of the homicide charge against him, Vaningan faces up to life in prison.
At the time of the incident, Vaningan reportedly was out on bail in connection with an unrelated crime.