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Burned-out vehicle, human remains discovered in Buffalo's Riverside neighborhood

Near where lost toddler said "car's on fire"
Posted at 8:20 PM, Sep 16, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo police have discovered a burned-out vehicle in the city's Riverside neighborhood.

Police told 7 Eyewitness News on Monday evening that what appear to be human remains were found inside the vehicle. Police tape surrounded Black Rock Mini Storage on Monday night as at least a half dozen police cruisers blocked off the area of 111 Tonawanda Street.

On Tuesday morning, police gave an update on the investigation. They confirmed are now working to identify human remains found inside that vehicle. Investigators believe the fire burned extremely hot and eventually extinguished itself. The vehicle, police say, was so badly damaged by the fire they are having a hard time identifying its make and model. Investigators believe the vehicle fire started around 3:00 am on Monday and may have been visible from the elevated portion of Rte. 198 or from the Tonawanda-Niagara Street Corridor. Anyone who may have witnessed smoke, flames or anything unusual around that time is asked to contact the Buffalo Police Homicide Unit at 716-851-4466.

The vehicle was located approximately one mile north of where a three-year-old boy was discovered sleeping on the porch of a home on Potomac Avenue.

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The homeowner who discovered the boy at around 7:30am Monday told 7 Eyewitness News that the boy repeatedly referenced a vehicle on fire.

"I said where's your mommy, honey? He said 'the car's on fire.' That's all he kept saying," Lois Ausburger said.

Two other neighbors also said the boy mentioned a some sort of fire.

"He kept saying 'fire, fire, fire,'" said neighbor Tina Conicek.

"He said 'my mom is dead and I need help,'" said neighbor Dana, who did not wish to have her last name published. "I asked 'where's your father?' He said 'he was pulling the car out of the garage and the car caught on fire.'"

At this point, Buffalo police have not identified who the boy is or whether there is any connection to the charred vehicle discovered Monday evening.