Body in burned car identified

LORDSTOWN – Authorities identified the body found in a burning vehicle earlier this week as that of a Warren Township man.

Dental records show the man to be Michael C. Anderson, 23, of Warren Township, Lordstown police said. The exact cause of death is still pending.

Anderson’s body was found when Lordstown fire and police responded to a 911 call about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday. A passing motorist reported a burning vehicle in a wooded area on the north side of Industrial Trace. Firefighters found the body when the flames were extinguished.

Lordstown police Chief Brent Milhoan said the body was so badly burned, police were unable to determine gender.

Milhoan said the investigation is being treated as a homicide. The Trumbull County Homicide Task Force and the state Fire Marshal’s Office were called to assist in the investigation.

A review of police records shows Anderson has a criminal history, including a recent stint in prison. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated burglary after he and an accomplice, 18-year-old Delsean Peterman, tried to stage a hold-up of a Warren Township home.

Anderson and Peterman forced their way into the home of Garland Boone and beat him with a gun, according to police and court reports.

Boone was able to reach a gun from underneath a table and fired at the men. Peterman was shot and killed. The then-19-year-old Anderson was sentenced to four years in prison. He was released in October 2012, records show.

In addition, Anderson was implicated in another robbery, this one the work of his brother, Timothy Anderson.

Timothy Anderson was found guilty of aggravated robbery and two counts of felonious assault following a 2009 school robbery. Wearing a mask and carrying a firearm, he took about $11,000 in summer school tuition money from Lincoln K-8 School in Warren.

During his confession, Timothy Anderson stated he stole the money in an attempt to help his brother, Michael, who he said owed a drug debt to a local gang.

Milhoan said on Friday it is still unknown how long the Michael Anderson had been dead when his body was found.

“We’re still getting together that information,” he said.