Coroner: Man found in burning car died from ‘self-inflicted’ wound

The injury that caused the death of a man whose body was found in a burning car near Clinton Lake was “consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the coroner determined.

A gun compatible with the injury was found in the car next to the body, according to the autopsy report, obtained by the Journal-World. The man was dead before being engulfed by fire, based on carbon monoxide levels in the blood and anatomical material recovered from the scene, according to the autopsy report.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the death concluded that foul play was not suspected, Sgt. Kristen Channel said, responding to an inquiry from the newspaper this week.

Shortly before noon March 7, deputies were dispatched to a car fire at Rockhaven Campground, 1046 East 700 Road. Once the fire was extinguished, a body was discovered inside the vehicle.

A family member’s DNA was taken, tested and compared with the deceased to confirm the man’s identity, according to the autopsy report.

The sheriff’s office said the body was that of a 45-year-old Independence, Mo., man.