AUSTIN (KXAN) — One day after a fatal fire that killed four was ruled a homicide in a Del Valle home, KXAN is learning more about the victims involved.
Sources confirm to KXAN 25-year-old Jacob Derr and 41-year-old Brian Satterfield, both of Bastrop, were two of the victims found inside the home. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office is also asking the community to come forward with any information on 26-year-old Matthew Aaron Barber. Investigators say Barber lived in the home where the crime took place and appears to be one of the victims.
“There’s no real way to express who Jake was,” said Derr’s girlfriend in a statement to KXAN. “He was an all-around great man and the most loving person to spend a life with. He was his mom’s best friend. He was the light in our world. Every person he came into contact with he made a lasting impression, stranger or not. He would make your day before he thought about his own. He loved everyone.”
Derr was a bartender at Lustre Pearl. Close friends said he was a hard worker.
Travis County Fire crews were originally called to the house fire in the 8300 block of Linden Road, about three miles east of the Circuit of the Americas around 5:50 a.m. Thursday. Authorities say a neighbor called 911 when he saw smoke coming from the home.
A spokesperson for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office said the deaths are being investigated as a homicide because the victims had “wounds that were inconsistent with a fire.” Initial information indicates the victims might have been shot.
“We’re asking anyone who knows Matthew and who knows what might have been going on at this address to call us,” said TCSO spokesperson Kristen Dark.
KXAN spoke with Barber’s former roommate and high school friend, Logan Crosby.
“He was going through some times in his life so we gave him a stable room, gave him his first actual room,” said Crosby.
Crosby said he was shocked to hear what happened.
“Matt was a big headed guy but he was the diffuser on situations. I just don’t understand how something like this could happen,” Crosby said. “I can’t think of anyone in particular either, is the problem.”
Crosby said he doesn’t know who would want to hurt him.
Crosby describes Barber as a philanthropist, saying he worked as a private contractor and had lived in the home off Linden Road for a few years and spent time fixing it up. While many friends and family wait for answers from investigators on what exactly happened inside, Crosby says those answers won’t bring Barber back.
“I would absolutely rather not know. The fact the he’s already been through more than just a house fire is appalling, it’s terrifying. He’s an individual that will be dearly missed. No one will be able to replace Matthew Aaron Barber. There’s not a soul on earth that could bring back that light.”
KXAN spoke with an ex-wife of Satterfield who said, “He had his moments.” She tells us they had two sons together, but said Satterfield’s struggle with drugs led to their divorce in 1999.
Satterfield has a criminal history dating back to 2007 in Central Texas. He was convicted of misdemeanor theft and possession of marijuana.
Investigators say the crime lab is actively working the scene as of Friday afternoon and detectives are busy following leads, but no suspects have been arrested at this time.
When asked if the deaths might be linked to drug activity, Dark said investigators aren’t ruling anything out.
According to public records, Barber has a criminal history dating back to 2005. It includes minor offenses like drug and DWI convictions. Records show he was also arrested in Bastrop County for aggravated assault in 2014.
The Travis Co. Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who has information about this case to call Crime Stoppers at (512)472-8477.