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The incident of the burning vehicle "has not been deemed criminal at this point in the investigation," a spokeswoman for Roanoke police said.
STEPHANIE KLEIN-DAVIS | The Roanoke Times
Chris Mayes, 40, helps clean up debris left after an early-morning vehicle fire outside the Ivy House, a home in the 400 block of Allison Avenue in Roanoke that contains several apartment units.
Monday, May 6, 2013
A body was found inside a burning vehicle in southwest Roanoke early Monday, according to Roanoke police.
Department spokesman Sgt. J.K. Holt said police were called to a vehicle fire in the 400 block of Allison Avenue at 3:58 a.m. After extinguishing the fire, they found a body in the car, he said.
Police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson said the body was in the driver’s seat.
Police are investigating, and the identity of the body remains unknown, Holt said.
Roanoke Fire-EMS personnel and the medical examiner’s office are also involved in the investigation, and an autopsy is scheduled to be performed today, Johnson said.
Johnson said late Monday evening that police investigators were still working to locate the owner of the vehicle while fire investigators continue “working to determine a cause and origin of the fire.”
“This has not been deemed criminal at this point in the investigation,” she said.
According to neighbors, the car was sitting outside the Ivy House, a home that has been divided into several apartment units. Jim Adkins, who lives in a house along the street, said the vehicle belonged to a longtime resident of the Ivy House who had not been in good health. He said the man owned another, newer car and did not often drive the car that burned.
“That car hadn’t moved in I don’t know how long,” he said.
Adkins awoke early this morning with fire crews outside, battling a fire that had engulfed the car and singed the tree limbs hanging above.
The owners of the Ivy House were outside cleaning up Monday morning but declined to comment other than to confirm that the car belonged to a tenant.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Roanoke police at 853-5959 or the Crime Line at 344-8500.
Staff writer Jordan Fifer contributed to this report.
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