Police probe death of man in camper fire

Witnesses told Grand Junction police they did not see anyone fleeing the scene of a burning camper Tuesday night before a man’s body was discovered inside

“We have several witnesses who we believe were in the area around the time the fire started,” Grand Junction Police Department spokeswoman Kate Porras said, adding the blaze was phoned in by many of those same witnesses.

Although the cause of the fire remains under investigation, nothing in the probe through Wednesday suggested the case was arson associated with other foul play, Porras said.

Police were checking Wednesday on the availability of surveillance video covering the parking lot behind Dollar Tree, 2531 Rimrock Avenue, where a Dodge pickup with a camper mounted to it was reported burning around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A man’s badly burned body was found in the camper portion by firefighters. The camper was engulfed by fire when authorities arrived.

Witnesses reported seeing the truck and camper parked in the same location earlier Tuesday afternoon, Porras said.

Mesa County Coroner’s Office investigator Kim Hollingshead said dental records should help provide a positive identification of the man in the next few days. Cause and manner of death are being withheld pending identification, he said.

“... Fortunately the decedent had been to a local dentist recently,” Hollingshead said.


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