FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The body of a Fort Wayne man was found burning in a trash can along a near-southwest alleyway early Wednesday morning.
Police and firefighters were called around 2:10 a.m. Wednesday to an alley behind the 1000 block of Kinsmoor Avenue after a caller reported seeing a trash can on fire. Moments later, that caller said there was a person on fire, according to Fort Wayne Police spokesman Chris Felton.
Crews extinguished the fire and the person was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hours later, the Allen County Coroner’s Office identified that person as 35-year-old Peter Kowal III. The cause and manner of the Fort Wayne man’s death was not determined, however.
Felton said detectives have called the case “suspicious.” Felton said it’s not clear yet whether the man was killed or killed himself, and said investigators were working to gather evidence and speak with nearby neighbors.
Police said their were no disturbances reported in the area prior to the fire, and several investigators told NewsChannel 15 that there had been no reports of gunfire or screaming.
Investigators have not been able to determine how the man ended up in the alley.
That alley was the scene that several officers described as gruesome. One patrol officer told NewsChannel 15 it was the worst thing he’s seen in 27 years.
The incident is under investigation by FWPD and FWFD and the Allen County Coroner’s Office and Allen County Prosecutor’s Office.