UPDATE—Body Found in Burning Car Identified With Name
Authorities mystified many people when they initially didn't suspect foul play after aburning car was found on Nicoson Road near Locust Grove Road Sunday night in Benton County. But after an investigation, we perhaps now know why.
Around 10pm, the burning car was seen, and Benton County Fire District 1 crews were dispatched. In putting out the car fire, they found a body inside. An initial autopsy of the person revealed they're likely an elderly woman in her 80's.
According to reports after an investigation, it's believed the woman drove off Nicoson Road into a ditch, and the catalytic converter on her car ignited very dry brush, which then spread and set fire to the car. Officials did not say if she died from the fire or other causes. Autopsy results are still pending. It is not known if she attempted to exit the vehicle or drive out of the ditch, or if she was incapacitated. The car was incincerated in the small natural cover fire that resulted.
Officials are still working to identify who she was, and determine cause of death. The incident scene was about two miles west and slightly south of the Locust Grove I-82 interchange.
UPDATE--officials now say the victim's name was Eileen Arlyle Gabaldon, 85. Benton County Sheriff's detectives say anyone with any information or backround on her is urged to call (509)-735-6555 ext. 3836.