BANGOR, Maine — Surveillance videos from a pair of businesses showed headlights from a couple of vehicles passing minutes before a car burned with three people inside early Monday, and one person was seen running away from the scene.
Stratham Tire manager Jeff Gordon said his surveillance video showed an orange glow just three minutes after vehicles headed in that direction. The burning car, off camera, was about 100 yards away in a different parking lot.
Another video, from Automatic Distributors, showed a person running away, an employee told the Bangor Daily News.
The deaths were declared suspicious. The bodies were recovered from a sedan with Rhode Island license plates and taken to the state medical examiner's office for autopsies Tuesday that could help identify the victims.
The burning car off Target Industrial Circle was reported by a radio announcer who saw flames on her way to work and dialed 911 at 3:30 a.m. Monday. The flames popped the car's tires and burst its windows, leaving charred remains.
"It was fully engulfed when I saw it. There was lots of popping and small booms," Kat Walls said. "It was hard to tell it was a car at times because it was so engulfed."
The car was parked near Automatic Distributors, a parts and equipment wholesaler for all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, off-road motorcycles and other outdoor activities.
Police were reviewing surveillance video from a number of businesses, including Stratham Tire and Automatic Distributors, but Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards declined to comment on what they contained. He also declined to comment on the registration of the car, which a news photo showed had Rhode Island plates.
Mobile command posts from the Bangor Police Department and the state fire marshal's office were at the scene Monday afternoon. A tent was set up, as well.
Reached at her workplace, Walls said it never occurred to her that anyone might have been inside the vehicle and that she learned about the bodies when a detective arrived during her morning show at 97.1 the Bear.
"It was horrifying — the idea that I sat there and waited for the fire department while people were burning inside," she said. "I'm struggling with it, actually. It feels horrible."