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Authorities probe suspicious death, fire at deceased businessman's Sioux City home
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Authorities probe suspicious death, fire at deceased businessman's Sioux City home


SIOUX CITY -- State and local authorities on Tuesday continued twin investigations into a suspicious death and fire that happened days apart at a Morningside home owned by prominent Sioux City businessman David Davenport, who died Friday.

For the first time, officials disclosed they are probing an unspecified incident that occurred at the home Thursday, which they said led to the suspicious death investigation.

Officials also reported the State Fire Marshall has been brought in to investigate the fire, which broke out just after 8 a.m. Sunday at the home, 6533 Morningside Ave.

Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew declined to answer whether it's Davenport's death they are investigating, or how the fire might be connected to that investigation.

"Out of respect to the Davenport family, as they deal with the funeral, and because we are in the very early stages of this investigation, we will not be releasing any information at this time," Drew told the Journal.

A memorial service was held Tuesday at Grace United Methodist Church in Sioux City. Davenport, 66, died of a stroke, according to his obituary.

The two-story home, which sits on nearly nine acres, is just outside Sioux City's boundaries in rural Woodbury County, near Memorial Park Cemetery.  

The sheriff's office on Tuesday reached out to neighborhood residents, asking for their help with the investigation.

"We are looking for residences in the area of 6533 Morningside Ave that have cameras in either direction that would face toward the street," the sheriff's office said in a Twitter post.

Sergeant Bluff Fire Chief Anthony Gaul, whose department was the lead agency that responded to Sunday's fire, declined to estimate damage to the home. For property tax purposes, the property is currently assessed at $603,060, according to the county's assessor's office .

Gaul said Tuesday the state fire marshal would release the cause of the fire, when determined.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety–Division of Criminal Investigation is assisting the sheriff's office with its investigation, Sheriff's Office Maj. Todd Wieck said Tuesday.

David Davenport owned and operated a Sioux City firm for many years, selling and developing residential, commercial and industrial property. His father, Fred Davenport, Jr., who died at age 94 in December 2013, was a prominent local real estate figure for decades. 

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