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Orange County Digest

Local News in Brief : Westminster : Body in Brush Fire Is Still Unidentified

September 10, 1988

Investigators determined Friday that a badly burned body discovered in a Westminster brush fire was that of a "heavy-set" male, but they were unable to identify him, police said.

Firefighters found the body about 9:30 p.m. Thursday while they were extinguishing a 5,000-square-foot brush fire near the Garden Grove Freeway and Old Bolsa Chica Road in Westminster.

Police are investigating the death as a homicide "until toxicology tests are completed to find out what we have," police spokesman Tom Broderson said.

They also were trying to track down witnesses Friday. A man who reported the fire also told police that he saw two cars and people, Broderson said.

"The witness saw a couple of cars leave the area," Broderson said. "The site of the fire was right off the freeway, so (the witness) pulled off the freeway to check it out. We don't know if these other people also went to check or if they were involved."

Broderson said it will be a few days before coroner's investigators can perform toxicology tests to determine if the man was dead before he was burned.

He also said there have been no missing persons reports to link to the incident.

"We're waiting to see if the coroner can come up with something like . . . approximate age, weight and height so we can get an identification," Broderson said.

Police also were looking for two early-model cars that were spotted leaving the area when the first fire engine arrived shortly before 10 p.m. The cars were described as a Chevrolet and a Ford believed to be 1970s models.

Anyone with information is asked to call Westminster police at (714) 898-3311.

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