Body found after rubbish fire under I-5 freeway ramp, man seen leaving area with gas can

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Firefighters responding to what had been called in as a rubbish fire under a freeway ramp next to Interstate 5 in Bay Park Sunday morning, found a man’s body had been set on fire, and witnesses told police of a man seen running away with a gas can.

Arson investigators, police officers and the California Highway Patrol were called just after 8 a.m. to the 2700 block of Morena Boulevard, under the elevated ramps at Interstate 5 at Clairemont Drive, near Mission Bay Park, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Lee Swanson.

It took firefighters from one engine only a few minutes to put out the 6-foot by 6-foot fire, before they made the discovery between northbound Interstate 5 and the train tracks, San Diego Police Homicide Lt. Manny Del Toro said.

That’s when San Diego Police homicide detectives took over the investigation with the help of arson investigators.

The identity of the victim was not immediately known. It is also unknown if he was already dead at the time of the burning or if he suffered any additional trauma, Del Toro said.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office was scheduled to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Witnesses told firefighters and police they saw a white man in his 30s to 50s running across the freeway lanes, from the railroad tracks area toward Mission Bay, carrying a gas can. He was described as wearing a tan or brown jacket or sweatshirt, a baseball hat of an unknown color and carrying a backpack.

The suspect was seen running southbound from the scene and ultimately crossed the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 to the center divider, according to Del Toro.

A man was also seen carrying a gas can within two blocks of the burn site before the radio calls began to come in, he said

Categories: Local San Diego News