By Ken Daley | WVUE | January 31, 2022

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – A person’s body was discovered inside a vehicle burning in New Orleans East early Sunday (Jan. 30), but New Orleans police have not immediately declared the case a homicide.

The NOPD said the person’s identity, gender and age were not immediately known after New Orleans Fire Department crews made the gruesome find around 7 a.m. The body was inside a flaming vehicle reported near Chef Menteur Highway and Paris Road/I-510.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by New Orleans EMS personnel. The victim’s location within the vehicle was not disclosed.

The NOPD has listed the case as an “unclassified death,” a catchall signal that could indicate a homicide, suicide or death by natural causes, pending results of an autopsy by the Orleans Parish Coroner’s office.

According to statistics released Monday by the Metropolitan Crime Commission, there already have been at least 22 homicides in New Orleans through the first 30 days of 2022. The actual count could be higher, as the MCC figures are based on NOPD calls for service, and the police department rarely announces or updates when the victim of a shooting dies several hours or days after the incident.