Breaking News: DNA results positively ID Reed Point man as victim of car fire
DNA testing has positively identified Lee Eldon Bowman Jr. as the victim of a June vehicle fire near his home in Reed Point.
Stillwater County Sheriff Cliff Brophy said the DNA confirmation has now been received.
Bowman, 57, was always believed to have been the victim in the incident, but a positive identification could not be made immediately due to the condition of his body from the fire.
Bowman was found in his burning 1987 El Camino shortly after 6:25 p.m. on Trees Road near his home last June 28. Brophy said it appeared as if Bowman had missed his driveway and become stuck on a berm. Subsequently a fire started, fully engulfing the vehicle. It is unknown why Bowman did not get out of the car, although a metal post was partially blocking the driver's door, said Brophy
The flames had spread to surrounding grass upon the arrival of fire crews. Once the flames were extinguished, emergency crews discovered the body. The accident was in investigated by the Montana Highway Patrol.
Bowman died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to smoke and soot inhalation, investigators have determined. Toxicology results also revealed that Bowman's blood alcohol content was .354, making alcohol intoxication "a complication of the death," said Brophy.