PERRYOPOLIS (KDKA) – A vehicle matching the description of one belonging to a missing Fayette County woman has been found burned with a body inside.
Earlier this week, 74-year-old Caroline Branthoover was reported missing by family. Branthoover’s family said she suffers from numerous health issues, including congestive heart failure and chronic COPD.
Police confirm a car matching the description of Branthoover’s Pontiac Grand Am was found by a search party Friday morning over a hill along French Island Road in Perryopolis, Fayette County.
According to police, the vehicle was burned and a body was found in the car. The body was badly burned, and they have not yet been able to confirm the victim’s identity.
Police say it appears the car went through a field and over a hill, then potentially caught fire. Police believe she may have gotten stuck on the dry grass, but continued to hit the accelerator and may have caught the grass and, in turn, the car on fire.
Authorities say they don’t suspect foul play, but they have not ruled it out.
According to Branthoover’s family, Susie’s neighbor saw her around 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Then, she was last seen around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday leaving The Junction Tavern.
She was in her 2004 red Pontiac Grand Am, and witnesses reported that she headed in the direction of 51. The car’s license plate number is FWX-8296.
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