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Woman's body is found in burning car on I-5

Los Angeles police and fire investigators are probing the death as an arson-related slaying.

March 01, 2007|Richard Winton | Times Staff Writer

The body of an unidentified woman, whose death is being investigated as an arson-related slaying, was found early Wednesday in a burning car on the shoulder of the northbound Golden State Freeway in northeast Los Angeles, authorities said.

The case is being investigated by LAPD robbery-homicide officers and city Fire Department arson investigators.

Officials said the woman was discovered about 1 a.m. by firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers who were responding to a call about a vehicle engulfed in flames on the freeway, just south of Glendale Boulevard.

They discovered a burning green Honda Accord and, after putting out the fire, found the badly charred woman on the front seat.

Near the car was Noel Allen Tuazon, 39, of Los Angeles, who suffered second- and third-degree burns to his face and hands. He remains hospitalized. Officials said he was too badly hurt to be questioned.

Jason Lee, a police spokesman, said it had not been determined why Tuazon was at the scene.

But, he said, it was not believed that he went there to put out the fire or help the woman inside the car.

Officials would not disclose whether they thought Tuazon and the woman, described as being in her 30s, were related.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office is trying to determine the woman's identity through dental records.

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