Montgomery County Police say Steven Beck killed self and dog prior to house exploding; illegal gas hookup revealed

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Steven Beck killed dog and self prior to explosion of house in Rockville photo courtesy of NBC 4

Montgomery County Police say Steven Beck killed self and dog prior to house exploding

ASPEN HILL, MD. – The occupant of a home in the Aspen Hill section of Rockville, which blew to Kingdom Come on St. Patrick’s Day, was determined by an autopsy to be have killed his dog with a gun and then shot himself to death prior to the explosion.

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 Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division have been conducting a death investigation following a house explosion in Rockville.

On Friday, March 17, 2017, at approximately 12:51 a.m., Fire and Rescue personnel and 2nd District police officers responded to a house explosion in the 11400 block of Ashley Drive.

On Saturday, March 18, fire investigators located human remains in the basement of the residence.  The victim’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) in Baltimore where an autopsy was conducted.

On Sunday, March 19, the OCME identified the victim as Steven Martin Beck, age 61, the resident of the home.  The OCME ruled the manner of Beck’s death to be suicide and the cause of death a gunshot wound.

A dog was located deceased in close proximity to Beck.  After completion of a necropsy, the dog’s cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound.

Police report that the Major Crimes Division continues to work with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Fire Marshals, the Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to determine the circumstances that led to this event.

Aspen Hill house explosion 11422 Ashley Drive Randolph Hills. photo by Pete Piringer Mont. Co. Fire PIO

From NBC 4:
The damage is “catastrophic,” Montgomery County fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said Friday. 

“It’s just a pile of debris. it’s just a pile of bricks. There’s not anything left,” he said. 

Goldstein said in an update Friday afternoon that Washington Gas shut off natural gas service to the house in June 2015. Investigators discovered on Friday, after the explosion that there had been “unauthorized gas use” inside the structure since December 2016. 

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