Body found in burnt out car in Grand Rapids

The driveway in the 700 block of Olympia Avenue of Grand Rapids where a body was found inside a burnt out car on Nov. 12, 2016.
The driveway in the 700 block of Olympia Avenue of Grand Rapids where a body was found inside a burnt out car on Nov. 12, 2016.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police and fire investigators are looking into a pre-dawn car fire north of Roosevelt Park where a 21-year-old’s body was discovered.

The fire was reported around 3:30 a.m. Saturday in which neighbors say they heard multiple loud explosions and then saw the car engulfed in flames. The car was parked in an alley driveway that runs parallel to the 700 block of Olympia Street SW.

The fire left charred remains on the ground where the car was apparently parked, but it did not spread to the nearby home or the fence.

GRPD Sgt. Terry Dixon said tonight there is no positive identification as yet of the body found within the car. He said they are awaiting dental records before they make a final determination whether the person in the car is the same person reported missing.

However, family members of the victim at the home where the fire occurred said the person was a 21-year-old male. Neighbors identified him as Oliver Hernandez and said he was a friendly, church-going young man.

GRPD’s Major Case Team are investigating the fire as suspicious and the fire department has not ruled out arson as a cause, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Grand Rapids Police Department Major Case Team at 616.456.3604 or 616.774.2340 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.