Body found inside burned vehicle in Randolph County

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- On Monday, firefighters were back on the scene of a brush and car fire that sparked a criminal investigation in Randolph County the day before.

Firefighters said because the fire was smoldering underground, smoke was to be expected but they don't expect the fire to grow because they have a fire line around it.

A body was discovered inside the car well off Iron Mountain Road near Highway 64 around 12:40 p.m. Sunday.

The Courier-Tribune is reporting that the abandoned vehicle, which was set on fire, was located down a power line right-of-way between Old Stagecoach Road and Woodridge Creek subdivision.

Randolph County deputies say they found a body in the driver's seat of the burned car.

Investigators are working to determine the victim's identity, cause of the fire and cause of the victim's death.

The victim's body will be sent to the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh to positively identify the body and help determine cause of death, according to authorities.

Criminal investigators and evidence technicians for the Sheriff's Office responded along with fire investigators of the Randolph County Fire Marshal's Office.

The investigation is ongoing.

Neighbors in Woodridge Creek said the utility path is normally separated from Iron Mountain Road by a gate and were surprised to hear about the car's location.

"It hits close to home and it's a little unusual," said Ben Troutman. "I'm sure they'll do their best to figure out what's going on and what the car was doing out there."

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