LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin police and the Lufkin fire marshal's office are investigating a car fire near the intersection of Renfro and Valley streets. The vehicle found on a dirt drive leading to the rear of a manufactured housing business.
Det. J.B. Smith, a spokesman for the Lufkin Police Department, said Lufkin Police officers and Lufkin Fire Department personnel responded to a vehicle fire at approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday. When the officers approached the vehicle, which is believed to have been a Ford F-150, they saw a burned body in the remains of the car.
"At this time, the identity of the body found in the vehicle, the cause of death, and the time of death, are not know," an LPD press release stated. "An autopsy will be performed today to determine the cause of death. DNA testing will be used to determine the identity of the body."
The body appeared to be that of a man, but it was too badly burned for the officers to make "any further determinations," Smith said. The pickup was so badly damaged that officers could not read the license plates or the dash VIN number.
Anyone with any information about the fire or the person's death can make an anonymous tip at the Lufkin Crime Stoppers Website. People can also call the Crime Stoppers hot line at (936) 639-TIPS. Crime stoppers may pay a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest related to this incident.
Anthony Miller's Dad owns Twin City Housing and when he drove up to work Wednesday he didn't expect to drive into a crime scene.
"Well we came out here this morning kind of about 7:00 AM," said Miller "We were in the office and we had somebody come up and tell us there was a truck out here and there was a crime scene. Kind of confused about it so we came back out here. We saw all the charred mess and everything and there was a truck and from what the cops told there might have been a body in it, I'm not sure. Whenever I was up on the roof I was kind of looking at it and it's something terrible. It's not something you see every day and it sucks that somebody might have been killed or something happened."
Miller said "It was torched. It was nothing left. I mean, the doors wouldn't even stay shut it was so bad."
"Just a little single cab truck but other than that you couldn't tell what color it was or nothing about it," said Miller.
Miller said basically his backyard was full of detectives and crime scene investigators for most of the morning.
"It's pretty bizarre," said Miller. "Not my kind of things to see and it didn't smell very pleasant either."
Miller said they have had a few problems over the years with break in's but nothing like this.
"We've tried to get cameras," said Miller. "We've had security guards and everything, it's just never can catch anybody."