Local News

Bodies in burning vehicle identified as engaged couple

Medical examiner rules deaths accidental

MCFARLAND, Wis. - The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office said the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in a burned car near Madison were accidental.

The victims were identified Wednesday as 24-year-old Brandon Slattery and 21-year-old Amy Damon, both of Edgerton.

Slattery and Damon were engaged this past summer and had plans to get married later this year, according to friends and family.

Firefighters found the man and woman's bodies after extinguishing a car fire in the village of McFarland Tuesday.

Preliminary autopsy results suggest the two were not the victims of a crime.

McFarland police and firefighters responded at about 6 a.m. to a report of a vehicle on fire near the intersection of Holscher Road and Prairie Wood Drive in the village of McFarland.

As officers arrived at the scene, they saw a car fully engulfed in flames.

Police Lt. Brian Redman said it wasn't until after firefighters got the fire out that they discovered the bodies.

"The flames were such that when the officer arrived, you couldn't even approach the vehicle -- the heat emanating alone, without proper gear, you couldn't even get near it to look into it or try to do anything with it," said McFarland Police Chief Craig Sherven.


Police Chief Craig Shervan said there is no reason to suspect foul play at this time. Police said it appears the fire was a freak accident.

"At this point in the investigation, we have no reason to believe it was anything other than that. Obviously, the investigation is still ongoing. We did bring in, which would be standard procedure, a couple of specialists," Sherven said.

Neighbor Tom Dunn woke up to the bright police lights and spotted the smoldering car.

"It's very shocking anywhere, shocking here," Dunn said. "It's a terrible way to start the New Year."

Dunn said he would never expect anything like this to happen so close to where he lives. He was also surprised that it would happen on such a busy street and not somewhere more private.

"There's never really the police around here or anything like that. It's just very quiet. For whatever went on, it's just very unusual," Dunn said.

The case remains under investigation by the Village of McFarland Police, the State Fire Marshall's Office and the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office.

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