Police ID owner of burnt SUV
YOUNGSTOWN — City detectives were able to identify the owner of the sport utility vehicle in which a burned body was found Wednesday evening, but they await a positive identification from the Mahoning County Coroner’s office of the deceased man.
The 2004 Dodge Durango was owned by a 42-year-old man from the South Side. According to Capt. Brad Blackburn, family members of the man have been unable to locate him since Wednesday, and detectives believe he is the homicide victim.
Detectives, however, will not release the vehicle owner’s name until the coroner can confirm the body’s identity, Blackburn said.
The Youngstown Fire Department was called to the 3300 block of McGuffey Road about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday to fight a brush fire. They discovered a fully engulfed vehicle off the roadway back in the woods. While putting out the fire, they discovered a body in the rear cargo area of the SUV, and fire crews immediately called police to the scene along with an arson investigator and the coroner’s office.
Blackburn said the incident is being investigated as a homicide due to the circumstances, but the official ruling will be made by the coroner’s office.
If the death is ruled a homicide, it will be the 16th in Youngstown so far in 2020. The city recorded 20 all of last year.