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Authorities identify man found murdered inside a burning car in Thermal

thermal investigation 7-21

The Riverside County Coroner's Office released the identity of the man found dead inside a burning vehicle in Thermal last week.

Authorities were initially called to a vehicle fire call at around 1:40 a.m. on July 18 in the area of Avenue 57 and Pierce Street. A body was found inside the vehicle after the flames were put out.

The person is now being identified as Luis Pinedo, 23, of Mecca. Sheriff's officials say dental records were used to confirm Pinedo's identity.

The Sheriff's Department is investigating Pinedo's death as a homicide after the Coroner's office found evidence of "homicidal violence" during the post mortem examination.

There are no further details on this investigation at this time.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department asks that anyone with information contact Central Homicide Investigator Mendoza at (951) 955-2777.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Valley Crimestoppers at 760-341-7867.

You can submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Crime Tips online form.

This was the first of three suspicious death investigations in the span of a couple of days.

Tuesday morning, a body was found near the intersection of Avenue 78 and Fillmore Street. Deputies remain at the scene conducted their investigation.

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The next day, a body was found in the area of Avenue 49 and Calle Abelia, near the Rancho Las Flores community.

There were no further details released, but the department confirmed in a news release that this is considered a "suspicious death."

Investigators from the Thermal Sheriff Station and the Central Homicide Unit were called to investigate.

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The department did not disclose whether investigators believe any of these incidents could be linked.

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Jesus Reyes


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