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Body found in burned van in Mechanicsville

Posted on Monday, August 11, 2014 at 9:51 am

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Hanover authorities have launched a death investigation after the grizzly discovery of a dead body in a burned van in Mechanicsville.

Saturday, at approximately 7 a.m., the sheriff’s office responded to the 6200 block of Watt House Road after receiving a report of a body found inside of a burned 2004 Chevrolet minivan.

Hanover investigators are evaluating all evidence in this case and are working closely with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause and manner of death, as well as to positively identify the victim.  In addition, the sheriff’s office is working with the Hanover Fire Marshal’s Office to determine the cause of the fire.

Though the victim has not been officially identified by officials, local news outlets reported James Wells, 26, a Navy veteran, was the man found in the van. Wells was reportedly working for Marshall Cab Service in Hopewell and had taken a fare the night before the incident to the Mechanicsville area.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at (804) 365-6140 or the Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.  Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637 (CRIMES), using the keyword “iTip” followed by their tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.