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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Body found in car near Vero Beach Sonic restaurant; death investigation ongoing

NewsBody found in car near Vero Beach Sonic restaurant; death investigation ongoing

VERO BEACH – The death of a man found in a car parked near a fast food restaurant is not believed by detectives to be suspicious or drug-related, following an early investigation after the discovery Friday afternoon, police said.

Authorities did not identify the man, but said investigators were awaiting a medical examiner to determine why he was found dead in the driver seat of the car parked behind the Sonic, 1780 U.S. 1, a Vero Beach Police Department spokesperson said.

A man was found dead in a black Lexus ES 300 parked in an east-facing lot of Sonic off U.S. 1 in Vero Beach on March 24, 2023, police and store employees said.

Discovery: Sonic employee Michael Storch, 20, of Vero Beach, said as he started his shift before noon, he parked beside the black Lexus ES 300 and noticed a foul odor coming from the car. He also saw noticed the care was parked taking up two spaces in the east-facing lot.

Asked by a store manager to knock on the car window, Storch said he saw the man lying motionless in the reclined driver seat. The man was known by restaurant management as a person who lived nearby, Storch said.

Vero Beach police Detective Lee Evans, talks with an officer inside a patrol vehicle as a car in which a man was found dead was towed away from Sonic on U.S. 1 around 3:45 p.m. Friday March 24, 2023.

Investigation: Officers arrived at 1:17 p.m. following a 911 call and detectives remained at the restaurant until around 5 p.m. said Vero Beach police spokesperson Kelsea Marty. The car was towed away around 3:45 p.m.

“As of right now it’s still under further investigation,” said Marty.

Detectives did not suspect a drug overdose and Marty said “it doesn’t appear to be any forced trauma.” The medical examiner would ultimately determine the nature of death, Marty said.

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