Stefanie Mullins describes what she saw Tuesday afternoon, when a burning SUV was found in a residential area of Rancho Palos Verdes. A charred body was discovered in the vehicle. Robert Kovacik reports from Rancho Palos Verdes for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on April 23, 2013.
Homicide detectives were investigating a suspicious death Tuesday afternoon after a body was found charred in a burnt SUV in a residential area of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lomita Station said the body was discovered by firefighters responding to a report of a car on fire in the eastern part of Rancho Palos Verdes, near the border with San Pedro.
Aerial video showed crime scene tape blocking off a small basketball court where a burned white SUV was parked. Sheriff's Lt. Greg Ahn said the body was found in the back of the burnt car.
Lt. Fred Corral of the Department of Coroner said coroner's officials were responding.
The body was charred, Corral said, and the investigation would take some time.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department initially responded to the scene about 2:30 p.m. to extinguish the car fire, pictured at right in a photo from resident Stephanie Mullins, then found the body inside.
Multiple patrol cars were on the scene in the 30100 block of Miraleste Drive (map), which was shut down from Via Colinita to Ninth Street during the investigation.
Rancho Palos Verdes, an affluent coastal city, rarely sees violent crime.