TRAVIS COUNTY, TX. (THECOUNT) — John Ryan Kern, of Austin, Texas, has been identified as the victim found dead in a burning home late Sunday night in Travis County. His roommate, 31-year-old Zachary Salinas, was arrested and charged with murder.

Kern, 36, was stabbed to death by Zak Salinas who then set fire to the Austin home to cover up the evidence Sunday night, according to officials.


According to reports, emergency crews responded to a structure fire at 9003 Meridian Oak Lane in Austin, around 11 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived, Kern was found inside the dwelling suffering from apparent stabwounds.

Kern was later pronounced dead of stab wound injuries.

During the course of the investigation it was determined that Salinas fatally stabbed Kern and then attempted to burn down the home to destroy evidence.

Salinas was located nearby and arrested. He’s charged with Murder, Arson, and Tampering with Evidence.

Anyone with possible information on the case should contact the Austin Police Department at 512-974-TIPS.


Geo quick facts: Travis County is a county in south central Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,024,266; the estimated population in 2019 was 1,273,954. It is the fifth-most populous county in Texas. Its county seat is Austin, the capital of Texas – Wikipedia.