Body found in burning van in East Valinda

EAST VALINDA – Firefighters put out a van on fire Thursday night and made a grisly discovery.

Inside the vehicle was a body.

Sheriff’s homicide detectives were heading to the 300 block of Hambledon Avenue late Thursday night.

Lt. Joe Chavez of the sheriff’s Industry station said the van was parked in the the driveway of a residence but he didn’t know if the dead person lived there.

He said the station received a call about a structure fire in the 300 block of Backton Avenue at 10:06 p.m.

Deputies didn’t see a fire on that street. They spotted a burning van on nearby Hambledon Avenue, Chavez said.

Firefighters were also at the scene and extinguished the blaze.

The body was so badly burned coroner’s investigators could not immediately determine if it was that of a male or a female, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, however, “They believe it was accidental,” Lt. Victor Sotelo said.

The person’s cause of death remained under investigation as well.

- Staff report

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