Body found near burning car in rural DeLand neighborhood

Deputies find body near Bear Paw Lane and Bright Way

James Edward Williams (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

DeLAND, Fla. – A man’s body was found Tuesday afternoon near his burning vehicle in a rural neighborhood in DeLand, deputies said.

The body of James Edward Williams, 67, of New Smyrna Beach, was discovered around 1:30 p.m. near Bear Paw Lane and Bright Way.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, deputies, Air One, DeLand police and multiple units from Volusia County Fire Rescue were called to the scene for a vehicle fire, which ignited the surrounding grass.

James Williams's 2016 Mercedes SL-550. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

When the vehicle fire was extinguished, deputies found the body, officials said.

Detectives are working to determine how Williams died and why he was in DeLand.

Investigators are also working on establishing a timeline of events and are asking for anyone who saw the victim’s white 2016 Mercedes SL-550 convertible between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday traveling from the New Smyrna Beach area to DeLand to call them at 386-254-1535.

Additionally, detectives are asking anyone with information about Williams or why he might have been in the area to call them.

No other details have been released.


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Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.