Man Found Dead In Car Fire Was Murdered

Police are appealing for witnesses who saw someone fleeing the scene of a car fire in which a body was found.

Officers investigating the car fire, which happened in Chilworth Drove, Chilworth between 1am and 1.30am on Tuesday, April 10, now believe the victim was dead before the fire took hold.

Examinations of the vehicle, a silver two-door Mercedes C200 CDI, show that it was not involved in a collision prior to the fire, suggesting the blaze was started deliberately.

The body, which has still not been identified, is thought to be that of a young adult male.

Police are now treating the death as murder and are appealing for anyone who may have seen the car involved, identified as a silver two-door Mercedes C200 CDI, driving in or around Southampton late on Monday night (April 9) or in the early hours of Tuesday morning to call 101.

A 23-year-old Southampton man was arrested in Birmingham on Wednesday, in connection with the case but has since been released without charge. Further arrests are expected.

Mercedes - Chilworth murder

Det Chief Inspector Rachel Farrell of Hampshire Constabulary’s Serious Crime Directorate, said:

“The remains of a young adult male were found on the rear passenger seat of the vehicle by firefighters who were called to the car fire in the early hours of Tuesday.

“This is a disturbing but unusual incident and we’re satisfied that there is no wider risk to the public.

“Due to the nature of the incident identifying the male will take some time.

“I would like to stress that we are not linking this murder with the murder of Jamie Dack whose body was found following a fire in an industrial bin in Southampton last week.

 “We are appealing to anyone who may have seen someone running from the vehicle to get in touch, no matter how insignificant they may feel their information is.

“We’d also ask people to think back to Monday night. Did they see a silver two-door Mercedes C200 CDI? Did they see anything unusual or suspicious? If so we’d urge you to get in touch.”

Chilworth Drove

Anyone with information is asked to call Hampshire Constabulary on 101 quoting Operation Wedgewood. Or call the charity Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.