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Quincy Police identify man found burned to death

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  February 7, 2014 10:18 AM

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The man found burned to death near a Quincy supermarket has been identified as a 50-year-old man from California.

According to Norfolk District Attorney Spokesman David Traub, police believe the man was Joel Roberts, 50, from Santa Cruz, Calif.

In a press release, investigators said Roberts had a relative in this area until a short time ago, and appeared to be living outdoors in the area when he died.

Police said they confirmed the man’s identity through dental records.

Police discovered the man’s body early Sunday morning while they were putting out what they believed was a brush fire near the Hannaford Supermarket on Hancock Street. Firefighters soon spotted the man’s body in the flames.

Objects found in the area point to someone living in the space, authorities said. Some containers found were consistent with sterno candles, which are used for cooking and could have been used for heat.

An autoposy performed Sunday found thermal injuries, but nothing suspicious, the press release said. Police have not released a cause of death.

“While the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not issued a final cause and manner of death, the medical and police investigation to this point have not developed evidence suggesting foul play,” Traub said in a release.

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