December 19, 2014

Elyria
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Coroner says man found dead in burned car may have committed suicide

BROWNHELM TWP. — A man whose body was found Tuesday in a burning car may have committed suicide, according to Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans.

Evans said investigators suspect that the man killed himself, but they’re still trying to confirm the identity of the man, which has been hard given the condition of his body.

Evans said dental records will be used to identify the remains, but the car the body was found in belonged to a 38-year-old Amherst man. That man hasn’t been seen since the vehicle was discovered at 6:17 a.m. Tuesday in Swift’s Hollow, a secluded area by Sperry and Gore Orphanage roads.

The vehicle was burned to a shell, said Evans, who estimated that it may have been burning for an hour before it was discovered, and it burned for two more hours after investigators arrived.

A person who lives on the ridge saw what looked like a fire in the valley, went to investigate and saw the vehicle burning before calling 911, Evans said.

Residents on Sperry Road near Gore Orphanage did not report seeing anything unusual Tuesday morning.

Evans said that due to the condition of the body, it is hard to determine if a life-threatening injury occurred prior to the fire.

“It’s not uncommon for someone to hurt themselves and then set themselves on fire,” he said.

Evans said a complete autopsy may take time.

The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t released any new information, pending the identification of the body.

The incident remains under investigation.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.