Body found burned in car in Janesville identified

The woman found dead in a burned vehicle last week has been identified as a 60-year-old Footville resident, according to the Rock County Coroner’s Office.

Acting Coroner Louis Smit said Karen K. Brookins was in the vehicle fire Sept. 23.

Janesville police and fire had responded to a report of a vehicle fire at about 9:23 that morning on Silver Maple Trail at Arbor Ridge Way.  After officials had put out the fire, they discovered a body inside.

Preliminary cause of death was listed as asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation in conjunction with massive thermal trauma due to a car fire. Officials determined the manner of death a suicide.