Body found in burned vehicle that sparked West Slope fire |

Body found in burned vehicle that sparked West Slope fire

Jeff Munson

The death of a person whose burned body was found inside a car that caused a wildland fire on the West Slope of El Dorado County is being investigated as suspicious, authorities said Wednesday.

Cal Fire discovered the body inside a burning vehicle, possibly a Chevy Suburban, on Highway 193 near the town of Kelsey on Wednesday morning while they responded to a wildland fire.

The vehicle was at the base of a ravine. It had been completely burned, and it appeared that human remains were in the passenger compartment, said El Dorado Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Bryan Golmitz.

It initially was thought that the vehicle had left the roadway, crashed down the ravine and then started the wildland fire.

As the investigation progressed, the California Highway Patrol noted suspicious blood markings on the roadway, Golmitz said.

Detectives found additional evidence, which led the sheriff’s office to believe that foul play had a part in the death of the occupant, Golmitz added.

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The El Dorado County Coroner’s office recovered the remains from the vehicle, but because the victim’s body is burned, identification isn’t expected for several days.

A forensic autopsy also will be conducted to determine the victim’s cause of death.

The investigation is ongoing.