UPDATED: Person found dead inside burning car, no foul play suspected

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 12:20 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Pennington County, SD (KOTA) –

UPDATE: The Pennington County Sheriff’s office says they’ve determined the incident was a non-criminal matter and that there are no signs of foul play.

Thursday evening, the fire department was notified of a fire in the Rockerville area, which turned up a deadly discovery.

The person who called in the fire off Foster Gulch Road, told authorities they heard a loud popping sound, then saw flames. When fire crews arrived at the scene, not only was a small wildfire discovered but the source of it, a destroyed vehicle with a deceased body inside.

Captain Tony Harrison of Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, says just like every investigation they are taking it seriously, “our next step will be how did they end up in that position, was it deliberate by them, was it unintentional by them or is it a third person did it- We have to treat every case like it’s the worst case scenario so, it’s a murder until we can prove it is not. We will treat this like a violent felony crime until we back track and find out who it is and how they got there,” Harrison said.

Neither the person nor the vehicle have been identified at this time, and this is and active ongoing investigation. Agencies responding to the incident include Battle Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department, US Forest Service, State Wildland Fire Agency, State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office says they will know more in the coming days, but for now how the body and the car got there is mystery to be solved.

Anyone with information should contact Investigators Dan Lewis or Amanda Swanson with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office at (605) 394-6115.

Copyright 2021 KOTA. All rights reserved.