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Police: Body found inside burned car in Prichard

(WPMI) This photo taken on September 30 shows where a burned car with a body inside was found. The scene had been cleared overnight.
(WPMI) This photo taken on September 30 shows where a burned car with a body inside was found. The scene had been cleared overnight.

(UPDATE: Nov. 8, 2:50 pm) The Alabama Department of Forensic Science determined that the body was that of James Pate based upon DNA evidence.

A body was found inside a burned vehicle in Prichard Monday.

Prichard police said they responded to the scene off of Shelton Beach Road in front of the Chickasabogue canoe access around midnight.

Witnesses said they saw a maroon car parked at the gate Sunday around 5 p.m. with the passenger door open.

Anthony Owens said he saw blankets with clothes and a belt wrapped up nearby.

"Who would leave something like that you know? I walked up and figured I would look for the water to be moving or people to be here. I went back by the car and I seen the door open," he said. "I was so shocked that something like this would happen down here and if I would have thought about it I would have looked in the car. I might could have done something to help. It's just a sad situation. I don't know whose family member that is, but I hope they can get some closure and find out what happened."

Police said this is an active homicide investigation.

No further details are available at this time.