July 15, 2014
The Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office is ruling out foul play in the death of 35-year-old Brandon Chad Bruce.
Earlier this month, Bruce’s body was discovered in a burned-out vehicle on the 1200 block of Rising Sun Road, near Palmyra.
Officials say a thorough exam of the burnt vehicle, the site of the burnt vehicle, a nearby crash site and of Bruce's remains has been conducted.
Despite initial reports from witnesses of hearing gun shots in the area, investigators say no bullet holes, casings, fragments or firearms were located at any of the scenes. Investigators say burning vehicles often produce explosions from tires, airbags and hydraulics which can sound like gunshots.
It is the opinion of investigators that the burnt vehicle containing Bruce's body was the same vehicle that crashed into a ditch about 350 yards from the location of the burn site. It is suspected that damage sustained during that crash was the cause of the fire.
Preliminary information from the autopsy suggests that Bruce inhaled high amounts of Carbon Monoxide prior to his death, and is also the mostly likely cause of death.
The final autopsy report is pending laboratory results and could take several months.