Deputies investigating two deaths following vehicle fire

Amber Gillenwater

March 14, 2014

RACCOON TWP. — The investigation into the deaths of two people whose bodies were found at the scene of burning car on Thursday afternoon is ongoing.

Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said Friday that deputies have spoken with the families of whom they believe to be the victims in this case, but with no positive identification of the bodies, the names of the individuals are being withheld at this time.

“We feel that we have contacted the registered owner and passenger who were involved in the fire,” Browning said. “There is nothing further to release at this time.”

According to dispatchers with the Gallia County 911 Center, firefighters with the Rio Grande Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the scene of a vehicle fire at approximately 3:29 p.m. Thursday on Garners Ford Road, just south of Rio Grande in Raccoon Township.

After arriving on scene at 3:36 p.m., firefighters reportedly discovered the bodies of two individuals inside the burning car. Deputies with the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office were contacted and dispatched, along with Gallia County Coroner Dr. Daniel Whiteley.

Agents with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation were later called to process the scene, along with Ohio State Fire Marshal officials.

According to dispatchers, the last unit did not clear the scene of the vehicle fire until approximately 10 p.m. Thursday.

Browning said the exact cause of death of the two individuals is unknown at this time, pending autopsies of the deceased.

He further reported that the exact cause of the fire is also unknown at this time as further investigation is needed.

Additional details in relation to this case will be released as they are made available by investigators.