Florissant man could face murder charge for setting fatal house fire

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FLORISSANT, Mo. – Additional charges are expected to be filed as early as Tuesday against a Florissant man accused of setting a house fire that claimed the life of a teenager.

A memorial has sprung up for 16-year-old Dustin Baggett at what’s left of his family’s home in the 1900 block of Curtis Court.

According to Officer Steve Michael, a spokesman for the Florissant Police Department, the fire started before 3 a.m. Friday, January 17.

When officers arrived at the scene, the home was fully engulfed in flames. They learned a juvenile was still in the home but could not get inside to the boy. Firefighters arrived and were successful in removing the boy from the home.

The juvenile, identified as Dustin, later died at the hospital from burns and smoke inhalation, according to family members. Dustin had autism, they said.

Dustin’s kidneys and liver were donated to save the lives of others. A GoFundMe has been created to help the family with funeral expenses.

Shanteria Taylor, a neighbor, said Dustin’s mother escaped the fire and came to her door for help after she was unable to get him out.

“That was my guy.  He was a real cool dude,” Taylor said.  “It just feels very unfortunate that somebody lost a friend, a child, a student.  It’s really unfortunate.  Now I’m not going to be able to see that face every day.”

Police charged 39-year-old Bobby Copass with first-degree arson. Copass had been staying with Dustin’s family. He is apparently related to Dustin's stepfather and there had been a falling out prior to the fire.


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