Man Found Dead Near Burning Car

Investigators say he didn't die from fire-related injuries.

Brian Kelly
June 26, 2018 - 7:17 am

(Brian Kelly/KMOX)

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KMOX) - UPDATE: Police say they are officially conducting a homicide investigation after it was determined the victim had been shot.

An autopsy is scheduled to determine the identity and cause of death of a man whose body was found near his burning car in East St. Louis early Tuesday.

Previous reporting:

The death of a young man whose body was found outside a burning car in the backyard of an East St. Louis home is under investigation by Illinois State Police and the State Fire Marshal.

East St. Louis Asst. Fire Chief George McClellan tells KMOX that firefighters were called to the home in the 2900 block of Converse for a car fire about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday. While en route, they were notified that the nearby home had also caught fire.

When they got on the scene, they found the body of a young man in the back yard, near the burning vehicle.

McClellan says that while the victim was burned "pretty bad," it appears he did not die from fire-related injuries.

"Not definitive with that. However, young people don't just die standing outside of a car, and cars don't just explode on themselves and start burning," he says.

McClellan says neighbors reported hearing suspicious sounds early this morning -- "Heard some booming noises, some gunshots. They didn't know what it was, didn't know if it was fireworks or whatever."

An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death and the victm's identity. 

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