CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Police now believe a man whose body was found severely burned in Kanawha City was the victim of electrocution.

The body was discovered about 2:23 a.m .on Saturday behind Gabriel Brothers at the Kanawha Mall. The body was burned beyond recognition and the cause of the fire appears to have been electrical after a nearby electrical box was found with wires cut.

“The box was associated with a garbage compactor,” said Lt. Autumn Davis of the Charleston Police Department. “It appears from further investigation the deceased male was electrocuted by cutting the wires.”

Davis said it appeared likely the victim was trying to steal copper cable.

“That’s not confirmed, but it’s a likely scenario.” she said.

Authorities suspect no foul plan in the man’s death and are yet to determine a positive identity. The body is at the state Medical Examiner’s office to make the determination on his identity and cause of death.

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