published Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Bradley County investigates death, fire

Death investigation
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CHARLESTON, Tenn. -- The death of a Charleston man is under investigation by the Bradley County Sheriff's Office, while the subsequent burning of his trailer home is under investigation by Bradley County Fire & Rescue.

Neighbors found Hairle Preston Hayes, 58, dead outside his Charleston mobile home on Bakers Bridge Road on Thanksgiving Day a little after 4 p.m., according to an incident report filed by responding officer Matthew Landolt. Neighbors had come to the residence to bring Thanksgiving dinner to the deceased, according to the report.

"Upon my arrival, I observed [Hayes] lying in front of the residence covered in blood," Landolt said in his report.

The Bradley County Sheriff's Office's investigation into Hayes' death is under way, department spokesman Bob Gault said. The cause and manner of death have not been released.

The autopsy still was in progress as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Eric Blach, spokesman for the Bradley County Medical Examiner's Office.

Within four days of Hayes' death, his trailer home burned. The fire was reported at 4:10 a.m. Sunday, records show.

"The cause and origin of the fire is still under investigation," said Troy Spence, interim chief of Bradley County Fire & Rescue. "Right now we are trying to find out why the fire started."

The trailer home was unoccupied at the time of the fire.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at

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