Man found dead in burning vehicle in Topeka was from Lawrence; death ruled homicide

The body found inside a burning vehicle Saturday in Topeka was that of a Lawrence man, and his death has been ruled a homicide, Topeka police said Wednesday.

The victim has been identified as Arnulfo Garcia, 30, of Lawrence, according to a police news release issued Wednesday.

The Shawnee County Coroner’s Office has ruled Garcia’s death a homicide, and Topeka Fire Department arson investigators have ruled that the fire was incendiary in nature, or intentionally set, according to the police news release.

Garcia’s body was found about 2 a.m. Dec. 30 near Southeast 15th Street and Southeast Hudson Boulevard.

Police and fire crews were dispatched to the area for a report of a vehicle on fire, police said previously. While putting out the fire crews noticed a person inside, who was dead.

Topeka police encourage anyone with information about the incident to call detectives at 785-368-9400.

Garcia’s death was Topeka’s 30th homicide of 2017, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. That’s the city’s highest ever for one year, according to records.