Brother of Pulaski Co. fire murder victim speaks out

Published: Sep. 11, 2018 at 11:33 PM EDT
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On Aug. 13, William O'Neil Toosley, known as Neil, died in a house fire in Pulaski Co. We later learned from police that he died from blunt force trauma to the head and was the victim of a homicide.

On Tuesday, Neil's family wanted to share his story with NewsCenter 16 so he is never forgotten.

"He was one of those guys that if he walked in, everybody knew and he was always smiling, always trying to help," said Brian Toosley, Neil's brother.

Brian said his brother was a family man. He was one of four siblings and has five of his own children, ranging in ages 10 through 24. They no longer have their dad.

"He was the guy that they always turned to when something wasn't going right and Neil always made it better," Brian said.

Neil's brother said he was keeping an eye on his girlfriend's home while she was out of town the day of the fire.

"He was just trying to do things for her while she was in Florida seeing her grand kids so she would be surprised when she came back," he said.

But the surprise turned back on him.

"For someone to surprise Neil like that, it would have to be a very sneaky and a very big guy because Neil was a brute," Brian said. "He was six feet and easily 200 pounds. He had a belly but he was a muscular man."

Danny Clark was later arrested on Aug. 27 in Louisiana in connection to the case. Neil's family doesn't understand why anyone would want to hurt him.

"I don't think he had any enemies out there, but if he did, please forgive him," Brian said. "He was such a righteous guy, he was always about the right things. If you met him, you couldn't forget him."

If you have any information relating to this case police would like to hear from you. Contact the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office at 574-946-6655.