This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Sam Penrod ReportingInvestigators in Iron County say a man who died in flames in a Jeep may have been the victim of homicide. Sheriff's deputies reached the burning car early this morning after a witness spotted it southwest of Cedar City. After the flames were out officers made their grizzly discovery.
Investigators just got word from the state medical examiner that the man inhaled smoke, meaning he was alive whenthe Jeep was on fire. But that is only preliminary information from the autopsy and the case is still being treated as suspicious.
It was just after 2:00 this morning that a truck driver first spotted the flames while driving along I-15. Fire crews and sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the Middleton Timber Company just off the frontage road and found the car fully engulfed.
When they got the fire out is when the man's body was discovered. The body was found in the back of the vehicle, which is why law enforcement initially labeled the fire as suspicious. Then another vehicle at the scene quickly drove away as authorities showed up.
Mark Gower, Iron County Sheriff: "We're looking for a white vehicle, a white compact truck that was at the scene right when our deputies pulled up and left right when our deputies arrived on scene, and the only thing we know is it is a white compact pickup, possibly an Isuzu."
Investigators say the man who died, was the registered owner of the Jeep. He is being described only as a man in his mid-twenties who is not from Iron County.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the state fire marshal, and authorities are waiting for the complete autopsy results so they have have more answers about what happened.