UPDATED 4:47 p.m.: The death is an apparent suicide, Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said. Deputies went to the home of the vehicle owner, a 33-year-old Norwalk woman, and found a suicide note. Officials are not releasing the name of the woman pending positive identification by the coroner.
UPDATED 4:27 p.m.: A significant development based on evidence found at the scene of the possible homicide at Milan Wildlife Area on Lovers Lane may lead investigators to identifying the vehicle and its owner soon. Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth declined to comment on what that evidence may be.
Authorities continue to track down ownership of the charred vehicle, which has been identified as a Ford Windstar.
An autopsy will be conducted on the body Monday.
UPDATED 10:50 a.m.: The body and the van are burned beyond recognition, authorities said. They could not immediately determine the make and model of the van. The body was found in the back seat of the van, and investigators said they have not yet determined if the victim is a man or a woman.
Erie County coroner Brian Baxter and Sheriff Paul Sigsworth are at the scene.
A badly charred body was found inside a vehicle this morning after firefighters extinguished the flames.
The burning van was discovered along Lover's Lane Road just north of the Erie-Huron county line at about 6 a.m., Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth. A passing motorist saw a plume of smoke and called 911, he said.
Detectives and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation are on the scene.
"We're just getting started with this investigation," Sigsworth said.
Check back here at sanduskyregister.com for updates and get Monday's Register for more information as it becomes available.