Coroner says man shot before car fire

WARREN – A Warren Township man whose body was discovered in a burning car last week was already dead, killed by a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Trumbull County Coroner’s Office.

Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk said he could not disclose exactly when Michael C. Anderson, 23, died because his death, ruled a homicide, remains under investigation. However, he was fatally shot before being set on fire, the coroner said.

Anderson’s body was found when Lordstown fire and police responded to a 911 call about 1:15 p.m. May 14. 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.

Last week, Lordstown police Chief Brent Milhoan said the body was so badly burned that initially police were unable to determine gender. On Tuesday, Germaniuk said his office was able to identify Anderson through his dental records and tattoos.

Milhoan said no arrests have been made in the case.

Authorities began treating the investigation as a homicide immediately. The Trumbull County Homicide Task Force and the state Fire Marshal’s Office were called in to assist.

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, killing Peterman.

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.