Monroe County investigating body found in burning car - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Monroe County investigating body found in burning car

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SPARTA, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The Monroe County Sheriff's Department is investigating the discovery of a body inside a burned car in the township of Ridgeville Tuesday morning.

Sheriff Peter Quirin said the department has not been able to identify the body. It's now at the State Crime Lab in Madison, Wis.

They are also unable to identify the car, he said, adding as of right now, there is no determined cause of the fire.

"Maybe the investigators know, but it's burnt beyond recognition," Quirin said about the vehicle. "I can never even tell what car, what color it ever was. I can't tell if it has tires on it or anything. It was just burnt."

The car fire happened near a radio tower close to the intersection of County Highway T and County Highway A, Quirin said.

Firefighters responded to a call from a passerby just after 8 a.m. Tuesday.

By the time firefighters got to the scene, the car was fully engulfed in flames.  As crews worked to put out the fire, they discovered the body inside the vehicle, according to Quirin.

Monroe County Sheriff's Department investigators, the state Division of Criminal Investigation and State Crime Lab then came to the scene.

"We don't know if this is just someone who fell asleep just smoking in the car. We don't know if it's a suicide attempt. We don't know if it's something to do with a homicide. But, we're checking everything we can find," Quirin said.

The flaming car wasn't right on the highway, according to Quirin. It was pulled slightly off the road, down a driveway, which he said causes some concern.

The road was partially blocked off for the majority of Tuesday for the investigation. It is now open to traffic.

So far, no one has reported a missing person to the Sheriff's Department. Quirin asks the public if they know anything about the incident to contact the Monroe County Sheriff's Department at (608) 269-2117. 

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