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Iowa man set on fire and dies; cops catch man of interest out of state

Des Moines

DES MOINES – An Iowa man was intentionally set on fire and died this weekend, and police sought and captured a man who might know something about the horrific crime.

Des Moines police say 41-year-old Randy Dean Miles, Jr, of Des Moines is believed to have information regarding the homicide of 26-year-old Christopher Lenhart, also of Des Moines. According to police, Lenhart was set afire on Friday, and died Sunday in an Iowa City in a burn unit.

Miles, who is Lenhart’s stepfather, was caught in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Police there said that on August 28, 2017, the Grand Forks Police Department received a call from the Des Moines Police Department requesting their assistance in locating Miles, a material witness to the Lenhart homicide.  The Grand Forks Police Department investigated the information provided by the Des Moines Police Department and determined that Miles had likely been staying in a motel on S. 42nd Street in Grand Forks. Further investigation suggested that shortly before 2:00 PM on Monday afternoon, Miles had taken a cab from the hotel to Cabela’s where he was dropped off.  The Des Moines Register says when Miles was located, he was initially un-cooperative with police but was soon subdued and arrested.

Reportedly, this is the 23rd homicide of 2017 in Des Moines.

Randy Dean Miles, Jr
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