Burned human remains discovered in vehicle
by ELSIE HODNETT
Oct 09, 2009 | 3270 views |  7 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Friday afternoon, authorities recovered a body found that morning inside a severely burned vehicle in a wooded area off Camp Winnataska Road near Prescott. Elsie Hodnett
Friday afternoon, authorities recovered a body found that morning inside a severely burned vehicle in a wooded area off Camp Winnataska Road near Prescott. Elsie Hodnett
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ST. CLAIR COUNTY — Authorities are working to identify a burned body discovered Friday morning in a car in a wooded area near Prescott.

“The body was burned beyond identification,” Coroner Dennis Russell said.

Russell said the body was too badly damaged to determine the sex.

“The body was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Huntsville for autopsy and identification,” he said.

Russell said the unidentified human remains were discovered in the trunk of the vehicle.

Sheriff Terry Surles said the vehicle, a Dodge Charger, was severely burned and was found in a wooded area off camp Winnataska Road near Prescott.

“The vehicle was spotted in that same location Saturday (Oct. 3), but was not reported at that time,” he said.

Surles said a different individual found the vehicle Friday morning and reported it.

Authorities were unsure Friday how long the vehicle had been in that location.

”One body was found in the trunk,” he said. “The body was unrecognizable.”

Surles said investigators were working to identify the victim, but the identity was still unknown Friday afternoon.

Russell said there were some leads on a possible identification of the remains, and authorities would likely use dental records to get a positive identification.

“It is most likely a homicide,” he said, “but we won’t know for sure until after the autopsy.”

Surles said the vehicle was found 400 to 500 yards from where the body of a Shelby County woman was discovered in April.

“We believe it is strictly coincidence that a second body was found in this location,” he said. “This is an isolated area.”

The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the matter.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 205-884-3333 or 205-884-6840.