Body Found in Charred Car Investigated as Possible Homicide

Staff Writer

A charred body found in a burning vehicle on Sept. 9 near the Manzanar Reward Mine southeast of Bishop has not yet been identified but the incident is being investigated as a possible homicide, according to the Inyo County Sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office stated that at approximately 8 p.m. Friday, the office was notified of a fire that was visible from U.S. Highway 395 and located south of Manzanar Reward Mine.

Responding agencies discovered a vehicle on an unpaved and remote road, later determined to be a late model convertible Ford Mustang, fully engulfed in flames, according to a news release.

As the fire was being extinguished, severely charred remains of a body were seen in the passenger side of the vehicle.

Based on the preliminary investigation, the case is being handled as a possible homicide, according to the news release. Inyo County Sheriff’s Office is working with Eastern Sierra Arson Taskforce and the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office.

Due to the severity of the fire there is no positive identification of the remains or the vehicle at this time.

The remains are in the process of being transported to Orange County Coroner’s Office, according to the news release.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s assistance. If anyone has any information that could assist in this investigation, call 760-878-0383.

Responding agencies included CalFIRE, Forest Service, Independence Volunteer Fire Department, Inyo Sheriff, and the CHP, according to the sheriff’s office.