Officials rule cause of Christmas Day death
April 23, 2014 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated April 22, 2014 at 11:23 p.m.
If you have considered suicide or know someone who has, call the Gulf Bend Center's 24-hour suicide prevention hotline at 1-877-723-3422.
The body found in a burning car in Port Lavaca on Christmas Day last year has been identified as Bhaveshkumar "Bhavesh" Patel, 26, of Port Lavaca, said David Hall, a Calhoun County Sheriff's Office investigator.
Patel's death was ruled a suicide, Hall said.
The DNA from a blood sample provided by the medical examiner's office was compared to the DNA obtained from a toothbrush belonging to the owner of the burned car.
Researchers with the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas Health Science Center entered the results in the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, Hall said.
The DNA samples matched with one in approximately 38.4 septillion accuracy. That figure is equivalent to one in approximately 100 times the number of human beings who inhabit the Earth.
A passer-by reported the vehicle fire near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 1090 and School Road at 4:37 a.m. on Christmas, said Calhoun County Sheriff George Aleman.
Patel was last seen on video at 3:30 a.m. on Christmas. He was leaving Motel 6, where he lived, in his 2006 silver Honda Civic. The video was recorded by a camera at the motel, which is owned by Patel's uncle, Aleman said.