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Calhoun County officials investigate body discovered in burned car

By Elena Watts
Dec. 25, 2013 at 6:25 a.m.


Calhoun County officials are working to identify a burned body that was discovered early Wednesday morning in the backseat of a Honda.

The vehicle had caught fire and after the Port Lavaca Fire Department arrived near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 1090 and School Road and extinguished the blaze, the body was discovered.

Sheriff George Aleman said he was called to the scene at 5 a.m. Christmas morning. The vehicle was found in a field, and it did not appear to have any structural damage other than that caused by the fire.

Firefighters found the charred remains in the backseat on the driver's side.

"The intense heat will prolong the identification of the body," Aleman said.

Officers contacted relatives of the registered owner of the car. They said he was the only one who drove the car, and that they had not seen him since 1 a.m. Christmas morning.

The owner of the car placed a call to his father in a foreign country about 3 a.m.

Through an interpreter, officers learned from the father that his son, the owner of the car, was depressed and upset.

The body was sent the the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office. Preliminary results are expected in a couple of days.

"We're not sure if he died from the fire or before the fire," Aleman said. "But the autopsy will show that."

Aleman did not release the name of the owner of the car without positive identification of the body. The investigation is being handled as a homicide until the evidence proves otherwise, he said.

A passer-by reported the car fire, and officers are attempting to contact him.

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