ORANGE, Calif. – Three male bodies were found Monday afternoon in a burning SUV in a Southern California neighborhood. Homicide detectives are still trying to identify the SUV’s owner and the victims. Officials said an autopsy will not be performed until Thursday, because of the Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday.
A resident called emergency officials at 2:18p.m. in the 500 block of East Oakmont Avenue, as spokesman for Orange police Lieutenant Fred Lopez reported.
The three bodies were discovered by firefighters after they doused the flames on the driveway of a home. Lopez said that a traffic accident before the fire was not reported. The victims were so badly burned that their identities have not yet been verified. Dental records will be used to identify them, Coroner’s officials informed.
According to officials, the men did not live at the house. In fact, none of the neighbors’ recognized the vehicle, which was last purchased by a person in the inland area of Southern California. Lopez noticed that the SUV is not even registered to anyone in Orange County.
The police is still investigating how the fire started and whether the victims died before or after the blaze. Not only did they interview each resident at their houses, but they were also looking for surveillance video. “In these things, people don’t leave a note telling you what happened, so you have to work backward,” Lopez commented.
Albert Riley, a driver for the ride-hailing service Uber, declared to the Orange County Register newspaper that he spotted a woman waving her arms when trying to get someone’s attention. He then took a neighbor’s hose and tried to extinguish the fire before firefighters arrived.
“There was no one in the driver’s seat,” he told the paper. Investigators are treating the case as a suspected homicide. Police officials revealed that two men were sitting in the back, whereas the other was in the front passenger seat.
Witnesses reported that a man ran from the scene, but the detectives did not find any suspect as they searched several nearby yards. Certain streets near the incident were blocked off Monday while the police was talking to residents. Nearby, Orange High School was locked down as officers searched the area.
Source: ABC News