The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 14, 2014

Burning body found in Ligonier area car identified

Accident or medical issue likely cause, coroner says

LAUGHLINTOWN — An investigation remains underway into a burning car - and body inside it - found in a Ligonier Township parking lot alongside Route 30 on Tuesday.

But Westmoreland County's coroner’s office says it appears the death was not a homicide, saying investigators are looking into what might have caused Jay Francis Larva's sport-utility-vehicle to ignite and if the man might have had a medical issue at the time.

"It doesn't appear suspicious at this point ... but it's still not yet known whether this was the result of an accident, a sudden, medical event or some other cause," Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Sean Hribal said.

An autopsy was conducted Wednesday to confirm Larva's identity, Hribal said.

Results showed the man died of carbon monoxide poisoning from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries stemming from the vehicle fire, he said, noting the manner of death remains under review.

A passing motorist spotted Larva's Hyundai SUV east of Laughlintown, parked in a tavern parking lot around noon Tuesday, Hribal said.

Ligonier Township Police, the state police fire marshal and Westmoreland County detectives are all partnering in the investigation, he added.

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