MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WFRV) – A fire department in Wisconsin found a homicide victim while trying to put out a house fire, and now police are trying to find the man responsible.

The Milwaukee Police Department posted on its Facebook page about a man that is wanted for a homicide that happened on August 25 around 4:30 a.m. Both the Milwaukee Police and Fire Departments responded to the 3700 block of North 83rd Street for a house fire.

While crews worked to put out the fire, a victim was found inside the residence on the second floor. She was identified as Nikia Rogers and had a gunshot wound to the head.

Investigators with the Milwaukee Fire Department said that the actual body of the victim was one of four possible starting points of the fire. A container of lighter fluid was found near the body. The body also reportedly appeared to have lighter fluid on it.

The victim’s body had multiple burns, which officials described as being consistent with it being set on fire to try to hide the murder.

Rogers lived at the residence with her boyfriend, identified as 47-year-old Ernest Terrell Blakney. There were multiple vehicles at the residence, but the one registered to Rogers was missing.

In the criminal complaint, there were multiple witness statements. One of the witnesses said they received a text message from the victim’s phone number that said, “you should have left her alone.” There was also a message that said the victim was dead, and when the witnesses asked if it was “Terrell” talking a response came back with ‘yes’.

Another witness said that on August 25 he went to the back of his truck and saw Blakney pointing a gun at him. Blakney allegedly demanded the keys to the truck and told the witness to get inside a nearby trailer. The witness did and Blakney then locked it from the outside.

After using items inside the trailer to get the door open, he went outside and got help to call 9-1-1.

Blakney is charged with the following:

  • First Degree Reckless Homicide, Habitual Criminality Repeater, Use of a Dangerous Weapon
    • Felony
    • Up to 60 years (can be increased due to repeater and using a dangerous weapon)
  • Attempt Mutilating a Corpse, Habitual Criminality Repeater
    • Felony
    • Up to six and a half years in prison (Can be increased by four years due to repeater)
  • Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Habitual Criminality Repeater
    • Felony
    • Up to ten years in prison (Can be increased by four years due to repeater)
  • Bail Jumping, Habitual Criminality Repeater
    • Felony
    • Up to six years in prison (Can be increased by six years due to repeater)
  • False Imprisonment, Habitual Criminality Repeater, use of a Dangerous Weapon
    • Felony
    • Up to six years in prison (Can be increased by four years due to repeater)
  • Armed Robbery, Habitual Criminality Repeater
    • Felony
    • Up to 40 years in prison (Can be increased by six years due to repeater)

The full criminal complaint can be viewed here. There was no additional information on where Blakney may be.

Anyone with information is asked to call 414-935-7360. Local 5 will update this story as more details are released.