This story was updated Feb. 28, 2017, to correct the location of the fire.
A Burton-area man, reported to be homeless by law enforcement, was charged with arson Friday afternoon in connection with a Wednesday fire in which a woman died.
John Priester, 25, has been charged with arson, the result of evidence gathered from witnesses and the scene of the fire on 126 Falls Road in Burton, a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office news release said. Teresa Seigler, 56, was found inside the home and later pronounced dead.
The cause and manner of Seigler’s death is undetermined. Forensic pathologists at Medical University of South Carolina are conducting an autopsy.
A sheriff’s office spokesman declined to give further specifics on how investigators connected Priester to the fire. Sheriff’s office investigators are examining fire debris and DNA evidence from the scene, the release said.
Deputies are being assisted by state fire investigators.
Firefighters arrived to find flames coming from Falls Road home Wednesday morning. They broke out a window and found Seigler in a room full of smoke, but not flames, fire officials said.
She was taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital and later pronounced dead. Investigators immediately deemed the fire suspicious.
Seigler had children, grandchildren and two dogs, a close friend said this week. She had previously been active in Praise Assembly Church.
Investigators are still looking for witnesses to the fire and people of interest. Anyone with information may call Cpl. Jason Malphrus at 843-255-3426 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC.