Man taken into custody after dead body found in burning Fort Hall home

Rydon Teton

Rydon Teton

FORT HALL — A man is in police custody as “a person of interest” in the death of a Fort Hall Indian Reservation resident whose body was found in a burning house across from an elementary school.

Fort Hall police said they apprehended 32-year-old Rydon Teton (also known as Rydon Dixey) of Fort Washakie, Wyoming, on Friday night.

Teton’s being held in connection to the death of 20-year-old Francisco Martinez of Fort Hall, whose body was found in the burning home Friday morning by emergency responders.

The fire at the house on B Street across from Fort Hall Elementary School was reported around 5:20 a.m. Friday. Fort Hall police and firefighters responded to the blaze and found Martinez’s body in the house.

On Friday morning after the fire Fort Hall police said they were still trying to identify the body and the FBI’s Evidence Response Team from Salt Lake City had responded to the scene to help with the investigation. B Street was closed for several hours on Friday as Fort Hall police and FBI personnel investigated the scene and interviewed witnesses.

On Saturday afternoon Fort Hall police issued a second press release identifying Martinez as the deceased and mentioning that Teton had been taken into custody on Friday night.

Teton’s being held without bond at the Fort Hall Jail in connection to Martinez’s death and on a tribal warrant for unlawful use of a weapon.

Fort Hall police have not provided any information on Martinez’s cause of death or stated where Teton was arrested and what led them to connect him to Martinez’s death.

Fort Hall police said their investigation is ongoing and they area receiving assistance from the FBI.

Tribal authorities are asking for the public’s help regarding the investigation so if you have any information please contact Fort Hall police at 208-238-4000 or text anonymously to TIP411 (847-411).

Friday morning’s fire was the second house fire to occur on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation within an almost 24-hour period.

Around 4:30 a.m. Thursday a fire gutted a residence on Batt Lane. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found the home was completely engulfed by flames.

The home’s occupants safely evacuated from the residence prior to firefighters’ arrival but one of the individuals was transported via private vehicle to the hospital to be checked for smoke inhalation. That person was released from the hospital a short time later, the Fort Hall Fire Department reported. There were no other injuries.

According to Fort Hall Fire Chief Brian Briggs, “The fire started in a back bedroom and the cause is still under investigation.”