ATOKA, OK -- A scorched van with a badly burned body inside was found Wednesday afternoon in Atoka. Now investigators are working to put the pieces together.
Police are in the early stages of this investigation. They say a man was doing work on the property when he came across the van and called them immediately.
Police have not identified the body, but they do know that the burned van found this afternoon, belongs to a missing Atoka man.
The van, found in a wooded area behind the old Atoka high school, belongs to 51-year-old Alan Wayne Oliver. He was last seen in Collinsville, Texas Saturday.
The body inside his van is badly burned, making it hard to identify. Chief Gene Dodson says -- it's likely it is Oliver.
"At this point we're going to move from a missing person investigation to a death investigation. But, it appears it will likely be related," Dodson said.
Investigators searched this home in the 700 block of Weston Avenue Tuesday, but police say right now there are no suspects.
"We do have a person of interest on some stuff that we've been talking with," Dodson said.
Mary Hanks lives right next to the wooded area where the scorched van and body were found.
"Right down the hill from me. Now it's scaring the crap out of me. I didn't know what happened," Hanks said.
Hanks said she remembers seeing something suspicious.
"I seen two guys running, coming back up the hill running. I thought they were jogging," Hanks said.
Later on, she smelled smoke.
"We thought they were barbecuing around here. People do burn stuff. I didn't know that happened down there. Now since I learned about it, it's scaring the crap out of me," Hanks said.
The state medical examiner will now work to identify the body.
"They will have to check X-ays to verify or eliminate who the body in the vehicle is," Dodson said.
Until then, Chief Dodson said the case is a top priority.
"We've had some wild speculation in town about, and I've spent the last the last couple of days chasing a lot of rumors. Which is kind of the cause and course of a small town. But, you know, we will, we will determine, we will get to the bottom of it," Dodson said.
Neighbors who live near the home that is being investigated did tell us Atoka police have been called to that location several times. Right now, no one has been arrested.
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