The man found dead inside a car trunk in a burning garage at a south valley home Tuesday had been beaten after interrupting a random burglary before the fire was set, Las Vegas police said Wednesday.
The identity of the victim has not been released by the Clark County coroner's office.
"Homicide detectives have determined that entry into the house was made through a window," police said in a statement. "It is believed that the victim arrived home, entered the residence and encountered an in-progress burglary. At that point the victim was attacked and beaten inside the home, and then transported to the garage area. The home was then deliberately set on fire."
There was no indication the victim knew the suspect, police said. No suspects have been identified.
Clark County firefighters arrived at the house in the 1800 block of Glistening Sands Drive shortly after 2 a.m.
They found the garage of the house, near Eastern Avenue and Warm Springs Road, engulfed in flames.
Authorities made the grisly discovery inside the garage, which led to a police homicide investigation.
Wood planks boarded up the garage Tuesday night. Black smoke damage covered large swaths of the stucco exterior of the house.
According to county property records, the single-story, 1,215-square-foot house was bought by Gladys Gilberto in 1992.
Firefighters contained the blaze to the garage and put it out within 10 minutes. Fire damages were estimated at $75,000.
Tuesday's incident was the latest in a rash of high-profile break-ins or burglaries, some of which have resulted in homeowners shooting at intruders.
On Saturday, a bank robbery suspect fleeing from police entered the backyard of a house at 2630 S. Buffalo Drive. He then tried to enter the house through an open window.
The homeowner, Mark Schwendener, fired a shot at Tamas Horvath, then followed him into the backyard, where he fired at Horvath again.
Police said it was unclear whether any of Schwendener's gunshots struck Horvath.
An officer later fired and struck Horvath, who was arrested on several charges, including attempted murder, resisting a police officer, burglary and home invasion.
On Monday, about three miles east of Schwendener's house, several intruders broke into a house on the 2300 block of Westwind Road, police said.
Police said the homeowner fired at least once at men who got into his bedroom.
The Clark County coroner's office identified a man who died in the shooting as 27-year-old Anthony C. Guerra. He died from a gunshot wound to his chest.
On Tuesday night, neighbors on Glistening Sands were shocked by the arson and homicide that occurred on their street.
One man who asked not to be identified noted that one or more suspects were on the loose, but that he was prepared.
"They better not come here," the man said. "I'm well-armed."
Anyone with information on Tuesday's incident is urged to contact the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Section at 828-3521 or Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638.