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UPDATE - Suicide suspected in car fire

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 11:57 AM

Authorities responded to a vehicle fire behind Wal-Mart early this morning. The incident appears to be a suicide.

Huron County Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Harwood said the victim is a young male in his 20s. The Lucas County Coroner's office is expected to specifically identify the victim during an autopsy today.

"We have a tentative idea who it is," Harwood said this morning.

Norwalk Police Chief Kevin Cashen said the victim's name currently isn't being released, citing detectives' ongoing investigation.

"I know we know who it is," he said. "All indications are leading us to look at (suicide)."

The fire in the parking lot behind the Westwind Drive business was reported at 1:40 a.m. Officers arrived four minutes later. Cashen said it's unknown who contacted dispatchers about the fire.

"Upon arrival, a burned body was found near the vehicle. The car fire was extinguished," Detective Sgt. Todd Temple wrote in his report. He was unavailable to elaborate.

Three Norwalk firefighters responded to the scene. Chief Doug Coletta had no further information this morning because the report wasn't complete.

"We're still working on it," Coletta said. "I can't make any comment yet. They're still investigating it."

Harwood was at the scene originally at 2:15 a.m. for about 40 minutes. He returned about four hours later after the state fire marshal's office and Ohio Bureau of Identification and Investigation (BCI&I) had been contacted to assist detectives. Harwood noted that "BCI&I is very meticulous" in processing scenes for evidence.

The passenger area of the small car "was fairly burned," the coroner said, also saying the vehicle was "destroyed by fire."

"There were gasoline containers found in the car," the coroner added.

The fire marshal's office had no further information on the incident.

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