COLUMBUS: Authorities say the person found dead in a burning van last week in a Columbus park was a 94-year-old man.
The Franklin County coroner identified the man Monday as James Buford. He was identified through DNA tests, but a cause of death and how the fire started haven’t been determined.
Police said Buford left home for a doctor’s appointment on Thursday morning. A short time later, police found the van in flames in a parking lot of a park.
The Rev. Victor M. Davis, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, tells the Columbus Dispatch that Buford was a deacon at the church and retired from the U.S. Navy. Davis said he was active for his age and believed in helping people.