Christchurch Police are investigating a suspicious death following the discovery of a body inside a burnt-out vehicle in North Canterbury yesterday.
They are appealing for information about the movements of the vehicle - a 1989 silver Subaru station wagon - between Thursday afternoon and Sunday.
Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer says the burnt-out vehicle was found around noon yesterday by a group of four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, in a shingled area at the southern end of Dunlops Rd, near Loburn.
The area is often used by four-wheel drive and off-road drivers.
"The vehicle has been very badly burnt, as has the body, which was located in the driver's seat of the car.
"At present we are unable to confirm the identity of the deceased. We are treating the death as suspicious at this stage."
Detective Senior Sergeant Archer says a scene examination has been under way at the Loburn site since yesterday afternoon, and is likely to continue until later today.
Police expect the body of the deceased will be removed this afternoon.
"Our inquiries are focusing on trying to identify the deceased, and to establish the movements of the car.
"We are urgently appealing for anyone who may have seen this silver Subaru station wagon, between Thursday and Sunday, to contact police."
Police have also released a photograph of the burnt-out vehicle. "It is possible that people using the four-wheel drive tracks in the area may have seen the burnt-out car over the past few days and we urge them to contact Police as soon as possible."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch police on 363 7400.
Alternatively, to provide information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.