Coroner: Man found dead behind burning home committed suicide

Smoke billows from a home in the 1300 block of Normandale Drive early Tuesday morning.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A man found dead following an early morning house fire in northwest Fort Wayne has been identified.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office has identified the man as Mark Allen Schuette, 53, of Fort Wayne.  He died of a gunshot wound and his death has been ruled a suicide.

Firefighters look at evidence where a man was found dying behind a house fire in the 1300 block of Normandale Drive.

Fire crews were called to the 1300 block of Normandale Drive, near Sherman Blvd. and W. Coliseum Blvd., around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Heavy fire was coming out of the home as firefighters arrived.

As they got to work, crews found Scheutte in the backyard. He was pronounced dead by medics at the scene.

The report released by the Fort Wayne Fire Department does not list the Schuette’s death as being a fire-related fatality.

The Fort Wayne Police Department’s Crime Scene Unit was called to the scene and police told NewsChannel 15 the man’s death does not appear to be the result of a criminal action.

Firefighters investigate after putting out the fire in the 1300 block of Normandale Drive. The word “Tortured!” is visible next to the front door.

The fire was under control about 30 minutes after the initial call.

There was heavy fire and smoke damage, as well as moderate water damage.

A car was in the garage of the home but did not catch fire.

The word “Tortured!” was visible written on siding next to the front door of the home. A long note was also scribbled on the front of the house which included the phrase “backstabbing traitor.”

Neighbors told NewsChannel 15, Schuette was rarely seen.  NewsChannel 15 has confirmed Schuette owned the home.

A weed violation sign was posted in the front yard, surrounded by tall grass.