Traces of accelerants were found in the charred remains of Aretha Franklin’s Bloomfield Township, Mich., home and on the clothing of her son, Edward Franklin, according to a state investigator’s report. An investigator’s dog sniffed the accelerants on Edward Franklin’s shoes and jacket, and tests later confirmed traces of flammable substances were on the items, the reports said.
Although the reports named Edward Franklin as a suspect, no one has been charged in the Oct. 25 arson fire that destroyed the 10,000-square-foot home, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit.
A spokesperson for the state Attorney General’s office declined to comment, saying the case remains under investigation.
Edward Franklin’s lawyer, William Mitchell III, said the chemical traces on his clothing and in the house were the result of contact with materials routinely kept in the house, which was used for storage. “The Oakland County prosecutors have never been shy about charging people,” Mitchell told the Detroit Free Press. “If they have reached a credible conclusion, they would have done something about it.”
He said further investigation showed his client wasn’t responsible for the blaze.
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