PONTIAC, Mich. - The Oakland County Sheriff's Office wants to speak with anyone who may have seen a 54-year-old Howell man before he was found dead Monday in his burning car.
Authorities said Norman Valdes Cotten Jr.'s body was found around 10 a.m. after a car fire was reported at 640 W. Huron St. in Pontiac.
Cotten, a chiropractor with offices in Fowlerville and Commerce Township, was identified by dental records and an ID card and several credit cards he had in his pocket.
There were no signs of trauma, authorities said, but an open box cutter was found melted to Cotten's right thigh area, authorities said. Two gas cans were also found in the car -- one, which appeared to be full, was in the trunk and another was flattened on the floor of the back seat, authorities said.
Cotten's wife told authorities two gas cans were missing from their home. She also said her husband left abruptly the morning of the fire and did not take his cellphone.
Cotten's preliminary cause of death was ruled to be thermal burns and smoke and soot inhalation, pending autopsy results. The majority of the car's charring was on the front passenger seat side and back seat area, authorities said.
Authorities are looking for anyone who may have seen Cotten or his car, a red 2008 Cadillac CTS with a "STORM24" Michigan license plate between 7:15 a.m. and 9:52 a.m. Monday. Anyone who saw him is urged to call the OCSO at 248-858-4911.
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