With a criminal investigation at the charred home next door, George Baker found it difficult to talk about his best friend and next-door neighbor.
Two people were found dead July 1 by firefighters inside a burning home at 1962 Peeler Road in Dunwoody. Police say the blaze may have been a cover-up and are now conducting a homicide investigation relating to the fire, Dunwoody Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Carlson said.
“Initial investigation and autopsy results indicate a cause of death for both victims which is inconsistent with natural or accidental causes,” Carlson said.
Police have not released the names of the victims. Baker said Roger and Dorothy Abbott lived in the home
“He was my best friend, a good friend for 38 years,” Baker said, battling his emotions and speaking through a screen door, of his neighbor. “We moved here in February of 1972 and they moved in in March. They were good people.”
Baker, who volunteers at nearby St. Joseph’s Hospital, said he was not at home when the fire happened and did not see or hear anything suspicious the night before or the morning of the blaze.
Baker said the couple has four grown children, including a disabled son who lived in the home. Baker said the man was at a special needs camp at the time of the fire.
Other neighbors also were distraught upon hearing the news of the deaths.
Marla Schwartz, who was in town from Cleveland babysitting for her daughter and son-in-law, Johanna and Craig Kaiser, said her daughter had just spoken to the woman a day or two before the fire. The Kaisers left town for vacation the day of the incident.
“My daughter and her husband are both very upset,” Schwartz said. “My daughter had just spoken to the woman about a block watch in the neighborhood. It’s very sad.”