Triple murder-suicide suspected in Malabar house fire, deputies say

Remains of child, woman found dead inside charred home


MALAB, Fla. – Deputies have found the remains of a child, believed to be a missing boy, in a Malabar home that was destroyed by a suspected arson fire, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Sebastian Meachum, 9, was reported missing Sunday. He was last seen at a home on Atz Boulevard, which caught fire at 10:25 a.m. Sunday. The home was rendered a total loss. 

Sebastian's mother, Chrissy Hughes, 39, her husband, Tony Hughes, 39, and a relative who was visiting from out of state were believed to be inside the home when it caught on fire. 

Deputies said Monday afternoon that a child had been found dead inside the home. The remains have not yet been positively identified, but they are believed to be those of Sebastian.

A woman was also found dead inside the home. Her identity has not been released, but deputies said the body had signs of trauma indicating that she was likely killed before the fire started.

Brevard County Sheriff's Office public information officer Tod Goodyear said they believe Tony Hughes might have killed all three people at the residence, set the home on fire, then killed himself.

The search inside the home is continuing and could take several days.

A truck and boat trailer registered to the Hughes' were both found at Christenson's Landing around noon Sunday. The truck was running and the trailer was in the water, but the boat was missing at the time.

The missing 18-foot "Grady White" motorboat was found seven miles offshore Sebastian Inlet, unoccupied, driving in circles. Blood was found in the boat, deputies said. The Coast Guard is searching the area where the boat was found and deputies plan to process the vessel.

Witnesses told deputies that there have been domestic issues between Tony and Chrissy Hughes, although there were no calls to the residence related to domestic invidents, nor any domestic injunctions in place.

An investigation is underway. Anyone with information in reference to this investigation is asked to call Agent Wendy Wheeler, of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit, at 321-633-8413.