Coroner Identifies Body Found in Burning SUV

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RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (KTLA) — An investigation is underway after a body was found in a burning SUV on a basketball court in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Firefighters initially were called to the scene to extinguish a car fire in the 30100 block of Miraleste Drive.

“I called 911, and then a few minutes later I heard an explosion go off,” neighbor Ann Albritton recalled.

But when firefighters put the flames out, they found a body in the back of the vehicle.

The victim has been identified as 42-year-old Christopher Waters of Long Beach.

According to Albritton, two older teen boys hurried right past her just after the fire broke out.

“One had earrings and the other one had like a dark shirt,” she said. Albritton said they were about six feet tall and “heavy kids,” about 16 or 17 years old.

Neighbors say that the gates to the basketball court are usually left open, but the burned SUV isn’t familiar at all.”It’s actually private property.

It’s a parking lot area with a basketball court,” Francisco explained. “But the gates remain open so the public can drive in there.”

Sheriff’s detectives and arson investigators have stopped short of labeling the death a homicide or a suicide, saying only that it’s suspicious.

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