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Coroner Identifies Body Found In Burned Vehicle As Missing Woman

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PERRYOPOLIS (KDKA) -- The Fayette County coroner's office has identified the body found in a burned vehicle Friday as a missing woman.

Officials confirmed Monday that the victim was 74-year-old Caroline Branthoover.

A search party found Branthoover's body in a burned vehicle matching the description of her Pontiac Grand Am over a hill along French Island Road in Perryopolis on Friday morning.

(Source: Branthoover Family)

Police said it appeared the car went through a field and over a hill. They believed she may have gotten stuck, but continued to hit the accelerator, which may have caught the grass and, in turn, the car on fire.

Branthoover was last seen leaving The Junction Tavern around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. She was reported missing by her family last week.

Her family said she suffered from numerous health issues, including congestive heart failure and chronic COPD.

An autopsy has been performed, but the cause of death is still pending.

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