St. Augustine police investigate 2 found dead inside burning SUV

Vehicle was engulfed in flames when police arrived about 1 a.m. Wednesday

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Jim Piggott - Reporter, News4Jax.com Staff

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Two bodies were found inside a burning SUV early Wednesday morning in St. Augustine and police are processing their deaths as a crime.

The St. Augustine Police Department was notified of the fire on Spring Street near Fred Waters Way by the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office around 12:55 a.m. The SUV was still on fire when officers arrived on scene.

After firefighters put it out, officers saw there were two bodies inside the Dodge Journey. The medical examiner is trying to determine the identities of the victims.

Police have spoken with neighbors who reported hearing an explosion just before seeing the SUV on fire.

"I woke up and heard a big explosion sound and the house shaking," resident Greg Matthews said. "Basically, (we) came outside and we heard a Roman candle-type of sound.  Crackling and then other explosions followed it."

People in the area said they knew they couldn't get close enough to help.

At this time, police are still working to determine if the people inside the car were men or women. The state fire marshal is looking into the cause of the fire and the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office forensics team was processing the vehicle.

Detectives and a K-9 team processed the area looking for evidence and trying to track anyone who may have left the area.

"We're all putting our best foot forward to try to come to an early resolution to this, if we can," Samson said. "We're working through the evidence."

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Crimestoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-8477.

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