Man dead in car

A grim discovery was made just after dawn today following a car fire in the driveway of a West Bay home.

Car Fire

Fire officers put out the fire on this car in West Bay.
Photo: Kim Smith

Royal Cayman Islands Police Superintendent Marlon Bodden said the body of a man was discovered in the vehicle after flames were put out.

Witnesses who reported the fire to 911 said the body was found in the hatchback of the car. It was unclear how the man died.

‘The circumstances do look suspicious, but at the moment we’re keeping an open mind,’ Mr. Bodden said.

A post-mortem exam was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

The Caymanian Compass has learned the home where the car fire occurred is owned by airline executive Patrizia Amante. However, the newspaper has learned Ms Amante had been staying with a friend for the last few weeks and was renting her home to a male tenant.

The whereabouts of the male tenant had not been determined Friday morning. Police would not state whether he was the person found in the car.

Ms Amante arrived at the home on Friday morning obviously distraught and was consoled at the scene by friends and neighbours.

There was no word of any immediate arrests in connection with the case.

Chief Fire Officer Dennom Bodden said his inspectors were examining the vehicle, a Mitsubishi hatchback, where the body was discovered. He said there was no ruling yet on how the fire started.

Next door neighbour Kim Smith said she heard a fire alarm going off around 7am Friday, and that she and another neighbour went to investigate.

‘I was in bed and I heard this noise, and was wondering ‘what the heck is all this noise this morning?” Ms Smith said, adding that she grabbed a water hose and attempted to extinguish the fire. Fire crews doused the blaze within minutes of arriving.

Superintendent Bodden urged anyone who may have been in the area of Mount Pleasant Road near the Pleasant View apartments at the time of the fire to contact the West Bay police station at 949-3999 or 949-3990. He said the first 48 hours of the investigation would be critical.