COSTA MESA ( – A body found in a burning car off the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa earlier this month has been identified.

Costa Mesa police reported that the male victim was identified Wednesday using DNA. The name was not immediately released pending family notification.

Just after midnight on Sept. 5, California Highway Patrol officers found a 1995 Honda Civic ablaze on an embankment off State Route 55, near the connector to State Route 73. The victim was found dead inside.

An investigation by CHP and the Orange County coroner’s office determined “the victim did not die in a crash”, police said. No other cars were believed to have been involved with the vehicle. The death is suspicious in nature and the cause remains unknown.

CBS2’s Michele Gile says homicide detectives have been assigned to the case.

The mystery of what happened to the victim deepens. The question is now whether someone set the fire to cover another crime.

Officials would also not say where the man’s body was found inside the vehicle but did say his injuries were not consistent with a car accident.

The case has been turned over to Costa Mesa police. Anyone with information should call detectives at (714) 754-5197.


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