BANGOR — Authorities said Wednesday that they now consider the deaths of three people in a burning car in Bangor to be homicides.

The bodies were discovered in the white 2001 Pontiac sedan with Rhode Island plates before dawn Monday. The car was burning in the parking lot of a business. The vehicle was destroyed by the flames.

Investigators initially called the case suspicious. They began treating it as a homicide investigation on Wednesday, said spokeswoman Brenda Kielty of the state Attorney General’s Office.

Autopsies were being done, and Kielty said she expected it will be two or three days before the names are made public.

“As soon as their IDs are confirmed, then their names will be released,” Kielty said.

People who fear that their relatives are among the victims have been going to Bangor police with questions, some offering DNA samples that might lead to answers, said Sgt. Paul Edwards.

They include people with missing children or brothers or sisters who haven’t been seen recently, he said.

“We’re just taking those names and waiting for the results of DNA and toxicology (tests) from the Medical Examiner’s Office,” Edwards told WLBZ-TV in Bangor.

The station reported that the victims left a party and got into the car before it caught fire.

Police were investigating a surveillance video showing someone running from the scene, and another video showing the headlights of cars passing just minutes before the car burst into flames.


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