Local News

Burning body found at Harris Lake Park

Posted February 5
Updated February 9

— A group of people playing disc golf Sunday afternoon stumbled on a burning body at Wake County's Harris Lake County Park, but investigators said Monday they do not suspect foul play.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the golfers spotted the fire in a wooded area about 50 feet off the golf course and, in trying to put it out, realized that it was a body and called 911.

Deputies closed the park at about 1:15 p.m. to accommodate an investigation, but they were unable to quickly identify the person. The body was so badly burned that investigators have not determined if it was male or female.

Harrison said Monday that investigators don't suspect foul play and that a propane tank and a cellphone were found near the body.

Investigators spent Sunday afternoon trying to match park visitors to the cars in the parking lot, and they came up one short.

Harrison said investigators believe they know who the person is, but they are not releasing a name until they are able to confirm through dental records.

Search warrants returned on Thursday state that investigators linked a Ford Focus found at the park to an Apex woman who was last seen Sunday morning. In searching the woman's home, they found a journal with information on how to start a fire, the warrants state.


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  • Paul Hutton Feb 6, 2017
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    I doubt she burned herself alive. During the time frame the authorities state, I thought I heard a shot, which is not uncommon there. It was a busy time at the park from 12:30 and later. Had there been screams, I believe I would have heard them, and none of the people I crossed paths with seemed alarmed or concerned in any way.

  • Sonia Dekker Feb 6, 2017
    user avatar

    Very, very strange...why would anyone be walking around with a propane tank open at Harris park? And there are a multitude of MUCH less extremely painful ways to commit suicide. How can they rule out foul play so early unless they found a suicide note?

  • Frank Curcio Feb 6, 2017
    user avatar

    If a cell phone ringing is powerful enough ignite fumes at the gas pump I'm sure it can do the same to propane gas.

  • Jim Dunn Feb 6, 2017
    user avatar

    "Harrison said Monday that they are not suspected foul play and that a propane tank and a cellphone were found near the body."

    Seems a painful way to commit suicide. Not really sure how it could be done.