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Duncanville, Texas News

Woman Found Dead in Duncanville Apartment Fire, Partner Arrested for Murder

James Rias

On Monday, May 6, 2024, tragedy struck at the 600 block of Oriole Boulevard in Duncanville. At 6:06 am, emergency services were called to a structure fire. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered 55-year-old Regina Phillips unresponsive in her apartment. After evacuating her, she was found to have suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The investigation uncovered a disturbing sequence of events. Police revealed they had responded to a disturbance call at the same address the day before, involving Phillips and 63-year-old James Rias, her longtime partner. However, no evidence of violence was found at that time.

Now, Rias faces serious charges. He has been arrested for murder and is being held on a $1 million bond. Surveillance footage showed Rias leaving the apartment shortly after midnight on Monday, purchasing a gas can and lighter from a nearby store. Throughout the night, he was observed coming and going from the apartment.

The situation took a deadly turn shortly after 6 a.m. when Rias was seen leaving the apartment as an explosion occurred, resulting in a flash of light and the sound of the blast. The fire is being investigated as a possible arson, with police believing Rias shot Phillips sometime between Sunday night and early Monday morning.

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