Updated: Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011, 4:39 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 19 Apr 2011, 8:15 AM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - New Mexico State Police are treating the discovery of two burned bodies as a homicide but say the deaths could be a traffic accident in a remote forest.
The bodies were discovered with a burned car along a road in the Cibola National Forest southeast of Gallup.
Investigators said they got a call at around 2 p.m. Monday from a person reporting a vehicle on fire along Forest Road 191 a few miles west of McGaffey Lake.
When police got there, they found the car crashed against a tree and smoldering. There was a body inside, and a second burned body was found a couple hundred yards away.
It's too early to say if the people were killed by the fire or by something else, according to investigators who say the gathering of evidence will be a slow process.
"Due to the nature of the way the vehicle was consumed and the body was, they are taking their time excavating that vehicle to make sure they get the entire remains along with any potential evidence that may be in the vehicle," State Police Sgt. Tom Christian told News 13 at the scene.
State Police say they have already received calls from worried family members saying they haven't been able to get in touch with their loves ones in the last 24 hours and fear these two people could be them.
But police said until they are sure of the identities, they don't want to say anything about the bodies or the make and model of the vehicle.
However, they did say the car did not have a license plate on it.
Also uncertain is when the fire actually started. Since the fire had basically burned itself out, police said it's possible it was there overnight Sunday to Monday.
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