Victim identified in Mims car fire, cause of death ruled as homicide

Deputies identify victim as 38-year-old Tony Shaniel Butler

By Anna Johnson - Digital Journalist

MIMS, Fla. - The victim discovered in a burning vehicle on Monday has been identified by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office as 38-year-old Tony Shaniel Butler, of Titusville. Authorities said his death has been ruled a homicide.

BCSO officials said the car was found around 3 p.m. Monday in a wooded area in Mims on Bethune Avenue, south of Wylie Avenue. Butler's body was discovered after the flames were extinguished, according to officials.

Once an autopsy was conducted on Butler, authorities were able to rule his death a homicide. It is unclear if he was killed before being put in the car or if the car fire was the cause of death.

"It's so sad. You already killed the guy. Why'd you have to set him on fire? I don't understand that part. That's terrible," Mims resident Loretta Garvin said.

Garvin said she knows of Butler's family and that they've lived in Titusville all their lives. Another neighbor said she's worried someone else could be the next victim.

"Hopefully, ain't nobody just trying to kill people around here for no reason. I don't know," the neighbor, who asked to not be named, said.

"All I can say is, God bless him and he's in heaven now," Garvin said. "He knows who killed him but we don't know. So that's the terrible part about it. It's not knowing who it was and what happened."

Deputies said the investigation is ongoing. They are asking anyone with information to call BCSO at 321-633-8413 or Crimeline at 800-423-8477.

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