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Medical examiner: Bookstore owner died from stab wounds

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials are releasing more details about the gruesome murder of an Oklahoma bookstore owner.

In September, firefighters responded to a fire at 30 Penn Books, located on the corner of N.W. 30th St. and N. Pennsylvania Ave.

“When our crews arrived, there was a significant amount of brown smoke coming from the structure,” said Oklahoma City Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Walker.

He said the store was likely closed at the time because every door was locked.

Fire at bookstore near NW 30th and Penn.

Investigators say the fire was about 20 feet from the front door in the main part of the store.

“Once we started doing our salvage and overhaul, we did a secondary search, what we normally do,” Walker said. “It was at that time we found one deceased adult male.”

Man’s body found burned inside bookstore

Authorities say the body of the store owner, 66-year-old Kelly Hays, was found under a pile of books inside the business. After further investigation, officials say Hays suffered trauma to his body before the fire was set.

While homicide investigators began looking into the death, arson officials say the fire was intentionally set.

Kelly Hays

Nearly a month after the murder, police arrested 42-year-old Kenton Eugene Busby for the crime.

Kenton Busby

Now, medical officials are releasing more information about Hays’ death.

According to an autopsy from the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office, Hays likely died from “sharp force injuries.”

The report states that Hays was cut or stabbed 19 times across his body, with most of the trauma being centered around the neck.

His manner of death was ruled a homicide.

At this point, a motive for the murder has not been released.