Charred body found in vehicle near Ballico, authorities say
12/02/2012 8:34 AM
12/02/2012 10:26 AM
10:20 a.m. UPDATE: Sheriff's officials have said their investigation has been turned over the the California Highway Patrol, as they believe the case to be a traffic accident. The identity of the victim still has not been released.
More details will be posted as they become available.
9:00 a.m.: An investigation into a "suspicious death" is under way in Merced County this morning after the discovery of a body in a burned out car just north of Ballico.
The California Highway Patrol responded to a call of a car fire near Santa Fe Avenue and Pepper Street at 6:10 a.m. When they arrived, they found a body in the passenger seat and no driver.
Detectives with the Merced County Sheriff's Department are on scene along with Cal Fire, which is investigating the cause of the fire, according to spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
Investigators are trying to determine if the vehicle was involved in a traffic collision.
The gender of the body is unknown, MacKenzie said early this morning.
We'll have more on this breaking story as information becomes available.
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
The Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.