Provincial police near Alexandria are investigating after a badly burned body was discovered inside the smouldering remains of a car.
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry OPP said the body was found Friday at about 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot for a nature trail off of Lakeshore Road., about five kilometres west of Alexandria.
While police have yet to identify the body because of the "intense" fire, the Citizen has learned the car belonged to 28-year-old Gabriel Van Den Oetelaar, of Alexandria, who is a father of a five-year-old daughter.
Mr. Van Den Oetelaar's mother declined to comment, but confirmed her son is missing and said the family still hoped for his return.
"The vehicle was still smouldering when the fire department got there," said OPP Const. Joel Doiron yesterday, adding it appears the fire started sometime during the day Friday and burned undetected for some time before a passerby called police.
Const. Doiron said an autopsy in Ottawa on Monday did not reveal the cause of death and police are awaiting forensic test results to confirm the identity of the victim.
"We have to go in to some pretty detailed expertise," said Const. Doiron, adding that fire officials have yet to determine what started the blaze.
Anyone who may have witnessed p0pedestrian or vehicle activity on Friday in the area of the fire is asked to call police at (613) 534-2223.