Burned body found in van in Erie County


MILAN, Ohio — A burned body of a woman found inside a van in Milan Township on Sunday morning was tentatively ruled a suicide, Erie County investigators said.

Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said the burned van, a 2002 Ford Windstar, was found in the Milan Wildlife Area about 100 yards east of Lovers Lane Road, several miles west of Milan, which is 60 miles east of Toledo.

A passing motorist reported the vehicle fire at 6 a.m.

The van was destroyed by the flames and its glass melted. No license plate was attached, he said.

After investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation towed the charred vehicle, they found a license plate in the debris on the ground.

The vehicle was registered to Roberta Vick, 33, Norwalk, who was tentatively identified as the woman inside.

The sheriff said the body will be sent to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office for positive identification.

Investigators searched Ms. Vick’s home and found a purported suicide note that described her plan to kill herself by setting fire to her vehicle, the sheriff said. The sheriff said the note’s handwriting matched that of Ms. Vick

Investigators spoke with the woman’s parents and learned she had attempted suicide in December by running in front of a vehicle, and again in February by taking an overdose of pills.

.“It’s certainly an unusual way to go,” the sheriff said of her third attempt.

The final ruling of suicide will be made by the Erie County Coroner.

The woman, who was divorced, had twin girls ages 14 and a son, 12.