UPDATE: Body found near burning car in Henry County; fire may have started accidentally

Published: Jun. 27, 2018 at 10:53 PM EDT
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An investigation into a burned car and a body being bound at the end of River Road in Henry County continues.

Deputies say initially a possible homicide may he been the result of this incident, but new developments give authorities reason to believe something else may have happened.

Shortly after deputies arrived on scene, they say they learned that the Mercury vehicle in this incident was from West Virginia and the registered owner was listed as a missing person. After talking with West Virginia State Police, deputies learned that John Wesley Buscher, 76, of Berkeley Springs, WV was listed as missing and believed to be traveling in the Mercury.

Video footage was obtained by authorities that revealed Buscher entering a convenience store in Bassett to pay for gas around 11:27 p.m. on June 16. Approximately 15 minutes later, a car that was similar to Buscher's was captured on video going down River Road. After watching the video, the car never comes out.

The approximate time difference is the approximate drive time from the convenience store to that point on River Road. No other vehicles were seen in this proximity for hours.

Deputies say the cause of the fire remains undetermined, but it is possible based on the scene and tire tracks that Buscher drove around behind a house at the end of River Road and could not drive back up an embankment he had driven down.

Deputies believe that heat from the exhaust system may have set the car on fire. The medical examiner's office is still trying to determine a cause of Buscher's death but following a preliminary autopsy, there are no signs of induced trauma to the body.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).


Human remains were located near a burnt vehicle in Henry County on Thursday.

According to the Henry County Sheriff's Office, the Martinsville-Henry County 911 center received a report of a burnt vehicle in the 4700 block of River Road in Fieldale.

When deputies arrived to the scene, they found human remains near the vehicle.

According to deputies, it is possible that the fire may have started accidentally.

The human remains were taken to the Chief Medical Examiner for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke for an autopsy. The cause of the person's death is still unknown. The identity of the body is also unknown at this time.

According to Henry County deputies, the burnt vehicle had vehicle registration that led investigators to another jurisdiction. Deputies say they are "working with this jurisdiction in reference to a possible missing person case," according to a release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).

If you have any information related to the crime, you may be eligible for a $2,5000 reward.


According to deputies with the Henry County Sheriff's Office, a body was found near a burning vehicle in Henry County.

Deputies say a call came in around 7 p.m. about reports of body being seen in a burning car in the Fieldale Park area on River Road.

Deputies are currently on-scene assessing the situation. We're being told that this incident is being treated as a homicide investigation.

Stay with WDBJ7 for more updates.