Burned Body Found in Car

By Monica Dean
|  Friday, Jul 16, 2010  |  Updated 3:07 PM PDT
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Images: Burned Body Found in Car

Monica Dean

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Raw Video: Burned Body Found in Car

Two red, melted gas cans were found inside the charred vehicle.
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Homicide investigators are trying to identify a body found in a burned out car near Escondido.

Firefighters first got a call about a car fire in a remote dirt lot of the Evergreen nursery on the eastern-most side of Lake Hodges along Highland Valley Road.

Once the fire was out, crews discovered a body in the driver's seat. It was burned so badly they couldn't tell if it was a man or woman.

San Diego homicide investigators were called to the scene.

"We came out as the homicide unit because it's a suspicious death. It's unusual to have a body burned in a car," said Lt. Ernie Herbert.

An arson team was also called to help as investigators took pictures and searched for evidence in the dirt surrounding the burned, black, Hyundai Sonata.

"This is not a vehicle accident, it looks like it was on fire for a reason but we just don't know yet why," Lt. Herbert said.

Investigators aren't sure if the person died as a result of the fire, or if the body was placed in the vehicle before the fire began.

Two red, melted gas cans were found inside the charred vehicle.

Detectives are tracking down the registered owner of the car, hoping to make a connection.

"We have detectives out at some locations trying to figure out who owns the car and if the person in the car could be related to the owner of the car," Lt. Herbert said.

The Medical Examiner has not released the exact cause of death or the identity of the victim.

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