Body Found In Burned Truck In Metroparks

BEDFORD, Ohio (AP) - A body was found burned in the driver's seat of a truck in a park, and officials were trying to determine Wednesday whether they are involved in a murder investigation.

A park ranger reported the 1989 Ford Ranger was on fire shortly before 11 p.m. at Bedford Reservation, part of Cleveland Metroparks. It was parked on roadside gravel near Tinker's Creek.

The Maple Heights Fire Department put out the fire.

"We're going to treat this as a homicide until we receive information from the county coroner's office to the contrary," Metroparks Rangers Chief James Whitley Jr. said.

Cuyahoga County Chief Deputy Coroner Heather Raaf said she could not comment Wednesday on cause of death because her investigation was incomplete.

The body was believed to be that of a male between 18 and 35, Metroparks spokesman Ben Holbert said. The truck's owner is a woman in Garfield Heights, who was found, and the truck apparently was not stolen, he said.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)