Burned body found at playground

January 20th, 2011 by Staff

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – A call about smoke coming from a local park on Monday led officials to the discovery of a badly burned dead body.

Firefighters with the North Charleston Fire Department arrived at a nearly empty Westvaco Park at approximately 10:30 a.m. where they found no fire, but instead a badly burned body that officials say may have been dead upon its arrival at the park.

Officials say the body, identified by the coroner’s office as 82-year-old Samuel Dail, was still on fire when fire officials arrived. Accoring to an autopsy, Dail died of smoke inhalation.

Red tarps shielded the view of the body from the public Monday, as police and fire personnel scoured the grounds for clues.

“The red tarps are up to give them a little privacy, show respect to the person on scene,” North Charleston Fire Department Public Information Officer Bianca Sancic said.

Investigators are releasing very little about the identity of the victim and the coroner’s office has yet to determine how that person died, or if foul play is suspected.

But those who live around the park say the discovery is horrifying.

“Everybody is talking about it,” David Hughes, a neighbor said. “These people are upset.

Hughes has lived in North Charleston for the past 25 years, when asked if he had ever seen anything like this before he replied;

“No, not like this – This is ridiculous, but I don’t understand how it happened.”

That determination will be made only after Charleston coroner’s office has a chance to examine the body.

“It isn’t right,” Hughes added. “It’s no way to start a new year.”

Follow abcnews4.com or check our evening broadcasts for more on this story as it develops.

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