Body found in burning car

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LAKESIDE, Calif. -- An investigation was underway Thursday after a car fire in Lakeside led to the discovery of a body.

Deputies and firefighters were sent to the 11200 block of Mast Boulevard after a vehicle fire was reported around 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, according to sheriff's Lt. Kenneth Nelson. The Lexus was found at the end of the cul-de- sac fully engulfed in flames.

Neighbors told authorities they heard the loud bangs and small explosions before reporting the find.

The body was found after the fire was extinguished, and based on the circumstances, homicide and arson unit detectives were summoned to investigate, Nelson said. The body was so badly burned the gender has not been released.

The car is reportedly registered to a 33-year-old Santee woman, however, it is not known whether she was the person found inside.

It was not immediately clear whether the vehicle had been involved in a crash before it caught fire.

Nelson said the incident was being investigated as a suspicious death and the county Medical Examiner's Office would conduct an autopsy to determine the victim's identity and how that person died.

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