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Appealing for witnesses after car fire death
2:54pm Monday 16th April 2012 in News
Police are appealing for witnesses who saw someone fleeing the scene of a car fire in which a body was found. Officers investigating the car fire, which happened in Chilworth Drove, Chilworth between 1am and 1.30am on Tuesday, April 10, now believe the deceased was dead before the fire took hold.
Examinations of the vehicle, a silver two-door Mercedes C200 CDI, suggest the blaze was started deliberately and the vehicle had not been involved in a crash.
The body, which has still not been identified, is thought to be that of a young adult male.
Police are now treating the death as murder and are appealing for anyone who may have seen the silver two-door Mercedes C200 CDI, driving in or around Southampton late on Monday night (April 9) or in the early hours of Tuesday morning to call them.
Police have issued a picture of a car of the same make, model and colour, to help jog the public's memory.
Det Chief Inspector Rachel Farrell of Hampshire Constabulary's Serious Crime Directorate, said: “The remains of a young adult male were found on the rear passenger seat of the vehicle by firefighters who were called to the car fire in the early hours of Tuesday.
“Due to the nature of the incident identifying the male will take some time.”
“We are appealing to anyone who may have seen someone running from the vehicle to get in touch, no matter how insignificant they may feel their information is.
“We'd also ask people to think back to Monday night. Did they see a silver two-door Mercedes C200 CDI? Did they see anything unusual or suspicious? If so we'd urge you to get in touch.”
A 23-year-old Southampton man was arrested in Birmingham on Wednesday, in connection with the incident but was later released.
Police stress that they are not linking the Chilworth case with the murder of Jamie Dack whose body was found following a fire in an industrial bin in Southampton last week.
Anyone with information is asked to call Hampshire Constabulary on 101 quoting Operation Wedgewood.
Alternatively, call the charity Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.