Deputies searching for man in connection with fatal Surry County house fire

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SURRY COUNTY, N.C. -- An arrest warrant has been taken out for a 29-year-old man after crews found a body following a house fire in Surry County Monday morning, according to Surry County Sheriff Jimmy Combs.

Deputies are searching for Matthew Ray Lawson, of Ararat, in connection with the homicide of 27-year-old Nathan Cory Atkins.

Crews responded to the home on Starr Memory Trail at about 8:47 a.m. in reference to a fire. After the fire was extinguished, firefighters found a person dead inside the home.

Two vehicles, a car and a motorcycle, were taken from the scene. Because they were missing, deputies classified the case as a homicide.

The car was found burned near Ararat Road and the motorcycle was found on Sheep Farm Road in the Holly Springs community.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

According to the Surry County Sheriff's Office, Lawson also had the following previous outstanding charges:

  • Three counts of felony possession of firearm by felon
  • Felony possession of stolen goods
  • Felony breaking & entering
  • Two counts of felony safecracking
  • Three counts of felony larceny of a firearm
  • Fail to appear on misdemeanor possession of marijuana
  • Misdemeanor injury to real property
  • Felony probation violation
  • Misdemeanor probation violation