Body found in burnt out car

Last updated 15:55 03/12/2012
burnt car splash
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

INVESTIGATION: Police work at the scene of a suspicious death near Loburn this afternoon.

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Police are treating the death of a person whose badly burnt body was found inside a torched vehicle in North Canterbury as suspicious.

The 1989 silver Subaru station wagon was found by a group of 4WD enthusiasts about midday yesterday in a shingled area at the southern end of Dunlops Rd, near Loburn.

A badly burnt body was in the driver's seat. Police are yet to determine the body's gender.

Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer said it was likely the body would be removed this afternoon.

He appealed for sightings of the vehicle, pictured, between Thursday afternoon and Sunday.

The area is often used by four-wheel drive and off-road drivers, he said.

"The vehicle has been very badly burnt, as has the body, which was located in the driver's seat of the car," he said.

"At present we are unable to confirm the identity of the deceased.  We are treating the death as suspicious at this stage."

Archer said a scene examination had been under way at site since yesterday afternoon, and was likely to continue until later today.

"Our inquiries are focusing on trying to identify the deceased, and to establish the movements of the car."

"It is possible that people using the four-wheel drive tracks in the area may have seen the burnt-out car over the past few days and we urge them to contact police as soon as possible."

A Loburn resident, who asked not to be named, said young people often used the riverbed at the end of Dunlops Rd for wheelies and cars were often dumped there and burnt out.

However, there had never been "anything like this".

"It's quite unnerving," she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch police on 363 7400.

To provide information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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