Dead body found in burning vehicle

Investigation underway in Madison Heights

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published March 8, 2016


MADISON HEIGHTS — When firefighters arrived at a parking lot in Madison Heights to put out a car fire, they found something unexpected inside — a dead man.

Shoppers at Amori’s Market at 26122 John R, noticed the car fire in the parking lot the night of Sunday, March 6. The store manager called 911, and firefighters and police arrived on the scene around 9:05 p.m.

The vehicle, a Mercury van, belongs to Cheetah Express, 26150 John R, a business that shares the same parking lot as Amori’s Market. A Saturn Ion, also owned by Cheetah Express, subsequently caught fire due to its close proximity.

Firefighters put out the blaze and then discovered a badly burned body inside — so much so it wasn’t recognizable.

An investigator from the Oakland County Medical Examiner arrived to extract the body and bring it back to their lab. It has since been identified as Scott Kiesling, 48, of Madison Heights.

The Oakland County Medical Examiner will also conduct an autopsy and toxicology test to see what factors might’ve led to the victim’s demise, beyond the fire. The autopsy will check to see if other physical trauma was involved, while the toxicology test will check for possible substance use, poison, or other factors in the deceased’s system. This process may take several weeks.

The Mercury van was taken into custody by police. It is being held in the security garage at the Madison Heights Police Department for evidence processing. The Saturn Ion caught on fire after the van and is not considered part of the investigation.

The police will be working closely with the specialists at the Madison Heights Fire Department, who are taking the lead looking into the cause of the blaze.

Madison Heights Police Chief Corey Haines said that car fires are uncommon in the city, typically only seen on the highway, where they sometimes occur due to electrical malfunction.

“We’ve had several of those in the past, but it’s more unusual to have a vehicle fire of a car parked in a parking lot — and with a person inside,” Haines said.

Anyone with information on this or other incidents are asked to call the Madison Heights Police Department at (248) 585-2100.