GCPO Press Release October 29th 4:19 PM
The badly-burned body of an as-yet unidentified male was found Friday night (10/28) in a long-vacant house on fire at 133 Berlin-Cross-Keys Road, Washington Township, Gloucester County NJ.
An autopsy by the Gloucester County Medical Examiner today determined the cause of death was smoke inhalation. There was no sign of trauma- fractures or wounds- on the body. Dental impressions have been taken for examination by a forensic dentist in an effort to identify the body. The condition of the body precluded taking fingerprint impressions. Missing persons reports are also being checked in the identification process.
The fire in the ranch-style home was reported by a passerby driver at 9:27 p.m. Responders were the Washington Township fire and police departments, the township and Gloucester County fire marshals, the Gloucester County Sheriff's Office and K-9 unit and a fire investigator with the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office. The fire, which heavily damaged the trash-filled house, where squatters have drawn police complaints, was brought under control shortly before 10 p.m. Its origin is still undetermined, pending further investigation. Samples from the home's interior were taken for laboratory testing to determine if accellerants were present.
The house has been vacant for more than 10 years. Its owner lives in Florida.