Arrest warrant issued in connection with January 2015 fire, death

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URBANA - The Urbana Police Department says an arrest warrant has been issued for one man in connection with a January house fire resulting in a death.

Urbana police say officers and firefighters were dispatched to a home in the 1100 block of Mitchem on January 16, 2015 for a report of a house fire.  Upon arriving, firefighters say they found the home's sole occupant, Dale Glissendorf, unconscious in a bed on the second floor of the home.  Glissendorf was removed from the home and taken to a local hospital, where he would later be pronounced dead due to smoke inhalation.

During the investigation into the fire and death, the Urbana Police Department says it received information suggesting that the fire may have been set by another person.  Additionally, an independent fire investigator determined that a fire had been intentionally set in the home.

Urbana police continued their investigation, and officers say statements were obtained from multiple people who indicated that the fire was intentionally set, and that property was possibly missing from the home.  Police also say officers learned from a family member that a large TV was missing from Glissendorf's home, and that other items in the home appeared to have been moved.

Urbana police also say officers received statements from Glissendorf's friends that another man, John Elkins, had been living with him prior to the fire, but moved out several days before the fire happened.  Police also say officers received statements implicating Elkins in setting the fire, and taking the TV from Glissendorf's residence.

Urbana police says additional witnesses told officers that Glissendorf had passed out on the day of the fire, and that Elkins set the fire in another part of the house.  Urbana police officers say a search of Elkins' cell phone revealed that he has allegedly been attempting to sell a TV similar to the one that was missing from Glissendorf's house.

Urbana police say the Champaign County State's Attorney's Office sought charges against Elkins on April 11, 2016, and an arrest warrant was obtained for Elkins' arrest.  Elkins is currently in custody at the Hill Correctional Center on an unrelated crime.  Officers say the arrest warrant will be executed when Elkins is released from Hill Correctional Center in May.

The investigation into this fire and death is ongoing.  If you have any information, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at (217) 373-8477.  We will provide updates as they become available.

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