Wake Firefighters Discover Scorched Car, Body
Posted December 4, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
ZEBULON — Firefighters rushed to the scene of a brush fire Saturday in Wake County near Zebulon. However, they found more than just scorched shrubbery. They discovered a burned out car with a body inside that was burned beyond recognition.
From nearly a half-mile away onlookers could see the smoke drifting up from the woods. Around 11:00 a.m. Saturday Greg Prader saw the smoke from behind his house.
"I didn't think it was anything," Prader said. "I just thought somebody might be burning some wood back there or something."
However, what detectives found smoking deep in the woods was far from natural. Investigators believe that somebody left a body in the trunk of a car, and most likely set the scene on fire.
"It's probable with the body being in the trunk, and the vehicle being the point of origin," Wake County Sheriff's Lt. Gary Burrell said.
Porchlights remained on as darkness fell in the normally quiet, rural area, and local residents were more alert than ever before.
"We'll lock the doors for one," Prader said. "I don't think anybody should go back there. I think there is a no trespassing sign back there anyway."
Investigators are hoping to find the vehicle identification number of the car to locate the owner. Currently, there are very few clues as to who the victim was. Reporter: Todd HauerPhotographer: Lynn French