Detectives are just beginning an investigation into a suspicious car fire Friday after a body was found burning inside.
The vehicle was already fully engulfed when authorities arrived just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday with the fire spreading into the surrounding forest.
The vehicle was a half a mile down a forest service road off Highway 87, just south of the Highway 188 turnoff, according to a press release from the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
The gruesome scene was a surprise to a GCSO deputy who overheard a report to the U.S. Forest Service and Arizona Department of Public Safety of a reported forest fire near milepost 233 and decided to respond.
“Upon arrival at the scene, the deputy discovered that the fire was actually a burning vehicle that was beginning to start fires in the surrounding forest,” the report said.
Once forest service firefighters extinguished the blaze, the body was discovered.
GCSO Lt. Adam Shepherd could not say where the body was found inside the vehicle.
GCSO detectives and forest service personnel were still on scene Friday morning investigating.
The last time a body was found inside a burning vehicle was in February 2007. The body of Roger Watson was stuffed into the trunk of Subaru and set on fire after he was killed violently by a gunshot to the head.
One man pled guilty to arson charges for setting fire to a car off Cracker Jack Road although no one was ever held accountable for the death.