UPDATE, Sept. 29., 5:13 p.m.: A 20-year-old man was killed in the Thursday vehicle fire in Dixon, Ill.
An autopsy was conducted this afternoon at the Peoria County Coroner’s Office on the male body removed from a vehicle fire the previous day at Lowell Park. The deceased man was positively identified through dental records as Joseph A. Dukes, Jr., age 20, of Dixon, according to a release from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Dukes was also the registered owner of the vehicle at the scene. The investigation into the cause of the explosion is continuing, but the death was self-inflicted, the release said.
EARLIER: One man was killed Thursday as a result of a vehicle fire at a park in Dixon.
On Sept. 28th at approximately 9:09 a.m., the Lee County Emergency Telephone System Board received a call regarding a fully involved vehicle fire, in the Boat Trailer Park Lot at Lowell Park, Lowell Park Road in Dixon.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Dixon Rural Fire Department, and Dixon Police Department responded to the scene, according to a Friday release from Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
When Dixon Rural Fire arrived at the scene, they began to extinguish the fire and the body of a man was observed in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Due to evidence at the scene, investigators believed that the fire originated from an explosion in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, the release said.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Illinois State Police – Crime Scene Services were subsequently contacted to assist with the investigation. Special Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also called in to aid at the scene.
Once the scene was processed, the Lee County Coroner’s Office removed the body of the deceased man, and an autopsy was scheduled for this afternoon, Sept. 29. Foul play is not suspected in this incident and the investigation is ongoing, the sheriff’s office said.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office wishes to thank the Dixon Rural Fire Department, the Dixon Park District, the Lee County Coroner’s Office, the Lee County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Illinois State Police, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for everyone’s assistance with this investigation.
Anyone with information on this investigation or any other criminal activity is encouraged to the sheriff’s office at 815-284-6631 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-Caught-U (888- 228-4488). Callers can remain anonymous and receive rewards of up to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest.