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Police Find Two Bodies in Burning Car in Hilltop Area

COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- Two people found dead inside a burning car in the Hilltop area on Friday may have been killed before the vehicle was set on fire, according to police.

Officers were alerted to the burning car at approximately 11 a.m. by a subcontractor who was working at Forest Creek Apartments on Forest Creek Dr.

"It had  barely got started by the time I got there; pretty much engulfed on the inside of the car by the time the authorities arrived," said James Baker, who reported the fire to a 911 dispatcher. "Just flames coming out the windows. It had not got outside the car yet. [The car was] full of smoke -- you couldn't see anybody."

Police have not released the names of the deceased, nor have they publicly speculated about the causes of death.

"The inside of the car is burned up, the bodies are burned. We need to get in there to see if there's other signs of violence," Columbus Sgt. Rich Weiner said.

Investigators will view surveillance footage from Hiltonia Middle School and nearby businesses in an effort to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the victims' deaths.

The burned car has been towed to the Franklin County Coroner's Office for examination.  The coroner said she plans on starting the autopsies Saturday morning in the hopes of having a better idea how the men died by the afternoon.
 
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