Detectives still waiting on ID of victim in car fire

Bethel Twp. firefighters found the body shortly after 2 a.m. Monday after responding to a report of smoke in the area of Osborn Road, just south of Interstate 70. Firefighters found a vehicle parked behind a tree and fully engulfed in flames.

Authorities discovered a body inside, but not in the cabin of the vehicle, according to a report released Tuesday by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Clark County deputies, detectives, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the State Fire Marshal’s Office were all dispatched to the scene.

The report showed the vehicle, a white 2014 Chevy Cruze, was later towed from the scene. Authorities also traced the vehicle to an owner in Hilliard, Ohio, according to the report.

The body was removed from the scene and transported to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, which was to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, according to information from the sheriff’s office. The Clark County Coroner’s Office was still investigating the identity of the victim as well and did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

Bethel Twp. Assistant Chief Chris Ludwick declined Monday afternoon to say where the body was located inside the car. He added that up until firefighters put out the fire, it was a car fire with no one around the scene. Osborn Road was blocked for several hours Monday as authorities investigated the scene.

This is the second time in less than two weeks a charred body was found around a vehicle in southwest Ohio. On Aug. 28, a homicide investigation began after the body of a man was found inside a car set on fire in Dayton, police said.

Police responded just before 4 a.m. Aug. 28 to the 2600 block of Ridge Avenue at Triangle Park. The charred remains of a man were discovered inside the car. The man also had a bullet wound, police said.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday said the identity of that victim has still not been determined.

Anyone with information about the incident in Bethel Twp. is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 937-328-2560.

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