The bodies of a man and a woman, both burned beyond recognition, were found last night in a blazing van on a dirt road in a rural area of Prince George's County near Upper Marlboro.
Authorities said they could not identify either victim or specify the cause of death, pending the completion of autopsies and chemical tests. The procedures are expected to require several days.
The blaze was reported about 10 p.m., apparently by passersby. Police and firemen responded within minutes and found the white, 1971-model Dodge aflame on a dirt road between two fields, about 60 feet from Brook Lane, near Brown Station Road.
One of the bodies was found between the van's front seats. The other was found in the back, authorities said.
Maryland Motor Vehicle Department records listed the van's owner as a 29-year-old Silver Spring man, but he could not be reached for comment last night or early this morning.
A police sergeant who went to the scene described the fire as of suspicious origin, but a county fire official said it could not immediately be determined whether the deaths resulted from an accident or a criminal act. He denied a preliminary report indicating that the victims' hands were tied behind their backs.
After removing the bodies, authorities began collecting plastic bags of debris from the interior of the heavily damaged van. The vehicle was to be towed to police headquarters at Seat Pleasant.