Investigators try to ID body found in burning car

A man found dead Sunday in a burned vehicle in Lincoln County died of smoke inhalation.

Investigators did not know the man's identity as of Monday evening.

Lincoln County Coroner Bill Demrow said the SUV appeared to be stuck in the mud, and the body was found in the back seat.

Authorities have identified the owner of the vehicle, but Demrow declined to release a name. He said the vehicle's owner has a Lexington-area address.

"We know who owns the car based on the license tags on the car; we just don't know if the individual in the car was in fact the owner of the car," Demrow said Monday.

Identification probably will have to be made through dental records, he said.

The Lincoln County Fire Department received a call about a burning vehicle on the side of Ky. 39 in Crab Orchard at 4:28 a.m. Sunday, and state police said they were contacted just after 5 a.m.

Demrow said firefighters rushed to the scene, but the car already was completely burned. The cause of the fire is not known.

"This is not a secluded area at all; in fact, the car was in front of a nice brick home," Demrow said.