Sheriff’s office investigating body found in burning car as homicide

Published 4:06 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Chilton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a body found in a burning car Saturday morning as a homicide.

The fire, which happened in the 200 block of County Road 762, was reported to Chilton County E911 at 9:36 a.m. Saturday.

Sheriff’s deputies and East Chilton Fire and Rescue members responded to the scene and found the four-door car fully engulfed in flames, according to the sheriff’s office. A body was soon discovered inside the vehicle.

Investigators are working to confirm the victim’s identity, Sheriff Kevin Davis said, but believe that person is likely the car’s owner. The vehicle had a Shelby County tag, Davis said.

“We don’t have a positive ID (but) we do feel like it is the registered owner of the vehicle,” Davis said.

The cause of death is pending an autopsy likely to be completed Wednesday in Montgomery.

“We are investigating the case as a homicide. The evidence and everything leads us to believe it was a homicide [rather than a wreck or accident],” said Davis. “We do believe the cause of death was something other than the fire.”

The victim’s race, sex or any other injuries to the body wasn’t immediately known Saturday. There are no suspects as of Tuesday afternoon, Davis said.

Authorities believe the victim died on County Road 762 and wasn’t brought there after the fact.

“We feel like the cause of death did take place here in the county,” Davis said.

Investigators have been working the case since Saturday and were meeting Wednesday with the car owner’s relatives.

“We have investigators in Birmingham … we are doing several things on several different fronts,” Davis said. “We do have a lot of information to work.”

County Road 762 runs outside Clanton’s city limits and connects to Lake Mitchell Road near Kountry Kitchen restaurant.

First responders from the Clanton Fire Department, Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office and the Chilton County Coroner’s Office assisted with the case.

Check back with for updates on this developing story.