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Woman's body discovered inside flaming car in restaurant parking lot

Victim's family witnessed tragic scene
Posted at 12:30 AM, Jan 16, 2020

BLUE ASH, Ohio — Police say a woman perished in the car fire in a restaurant parking lot Wednesday night, and an incident report released Thursday evening described a tragic scene witnessed by some of the victim's family members as well as customers and first responders.

In a heavily redacted report, Blue Ash Officer David Dungan said he drove a daughter of the victim to the police station to be interviewed, but the report provides few details about the victim or what caused the fire at Buffalo Wild Wings, 4550 Glendale-Milford Road.

Dungan said the vehicle was "fully engulfed" when he arrived simultaneously with the fire department. Dungan said he heard "a loud boom" but didn't notice anyone in the car or anyone around it.

"I saw someone yelling from the Buffalo Wild Wings lot and approaching the fire command," Dungan reported. "As I was approaching command, the fire Captain told me there was a body in the vehicle and family members were in the parking lot."

Dungan said more than five witnesses gave him a similar account. They said they heard a loud noise - some described it as a "thump," a "pop" and a "crash" - and they didn't see anyone near the car.

A couple on a date said they drove near the burning car and began to take a video and neither saw anyone or another car nearby.

The victim's name has not been released. The coroner's report said cause of death was pending.

A fire call came in at 9:30 p.m., according to Chief Scott Noel. By midnight, the scene had attracted detectives, arson investigators and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Check back for updates on this developing story.