DIGGERS REST: Body found inside burnt-out car

UPDATE: A body has been found in the boot of a burnt-out car in Diggers Rest.

Police and the Country Fire Authority were called to Bulla-Diggers Rest Road, Diggers Rest, about 12:30am after reports that a car was on fire.

It took a dozen firefighters from three trucks — two from Bulla and one from Diggers Rest — to put out the blaze, a CFA spokeswoman said. 

After firefighters extinguished the fire, they checked the burnt-out vehicle and found a body in the boot. 

A police spokeswoman confirmed the body was found in the boot of the car, which investigators have described as a 2004 to 2009 Peugeot 407 hatchback, possibly yellow. 

There were no registration plates on the car and the owner of the car is not known, the spokeswoman said. 

Homicide investigators suspect the offender or offenders attempted to run the burnt car into Jacksons Creek, but the vehicle was stopped by bollards, Channel Nine reported. 

The person is believed to have been dead before the car was set one fire. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey, from the homicide squad, said an arson chemist was “assessing … whether an accelerant was used on the vehicle”.

“I can’t rule out whether an accident was the cause of the fire, or whether the vehicle was deliberately set on fire post the accident,” he said.

The car was travelling in an easterly direction along Bulla-Diggers Road before it was found, ablaze, on Holden Bridge, a spokeswoman said.  

It is understood that detectives will need to rely on DNA and dental records to identify the body. 

Anyone with information is asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

This story first appeared in The Age