CA, USA — Firefighters battling a five-acre blaze early Wednesday morningalong Highway 193 near the town of Kelsey reported finding a burned-out vehiclewith a body inside.
But what was thought to have been a traffic accident that sparked a fire isbeing investigated as a suspicious death, according to authorities.
During the initial investigation, it appeared to sheriff’s deputies andCalifornia Highway Patrol officers that the sports utility vehicle had left theroadway, crashed down the ravine and started the wildland fire, according to anEl Dorado County Sheriff’s Office news release.
As the investigation proceeded, a CHP officer noted blood on the roadway, therelease said.
Sheriff’s detectives found additional evidence leading to the belief thatfoul play was involved in the death of the vehicle occupant, the release said.
The remains were removed from the vehicle, according to the release, but dueto the effects of the fire, identification will be delayed. A forensic autopsyis planned to determine the cause of death, the release said.
The fire was reported at 2:17 a.m. Wednesday, said Jan Bray, a CaliforniaDepartment of Forestry and Fire Protection information officer.
The blaze closed Highway 193 between South Fork and Rock Creek road forseveral hours before it was extinguished.
The Sheriff’s Office said the investigation of the death is continuing andanyone with information about it is asked to call (530) 621-5655.