Police release name of burned victim

Elkhart County Sheriff's Department has released the name of the man whose body was found severely burned outside a storage garage.
Posted on Dec. 12, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 12, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.

ELKHART — Police released the name of the man whose badly burned body was foundoutside a storage garage Monday morning in Elkhart.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday identified the victim as Christopher J. Hinshaw, 54.

Hinshaw, a resident of Elkhart, was pastor at the Grace Brethren Church, 24775 C.R. 20.

Neighbors near the church, which was also close to Hinshaw’s residence, described the man as always helpful and kind.

“I’ve been here for about 10 years and we never had any problems. Him and his family have always been very respectful and accomodating,” said neighbor Clarence Warren Jr.

Trisca Matthews said her son went to the church and had a good relationship with Hinshaw and his family.

“He was a great man, he loved all the kids around the neighborhood. He was just a real nice guy,” Matthews said.

Sheriff’s department deputies and a Concord EMS unit were sent to 58644 C.R. 111 around 11:13 a.m. in reference to a man who had severe burns on his body. Don Mansell, deputy chief of the Concord Township Fire Department, said the call did not come in as a fire, so no fire trucks were sent to the scene.

At a press conference Monday, Capt. Jim Bradberry, public information officer with the sheriff’s department, said they are not treating the death as suspicious at the time.

Police are still working with the coroner’s office and the State Fire Marshal’s office to determine Hinshaw’s cause of death, as well as the cause of the fire.

Karen Kletka, deputy coroner, said a toxicology test will be performed on Hinshaw, but not an autopsy. She said only a toxicology may be required at times, depending on the circumstances of what is found during a death investigation. But because the investigation is active, authorities cannot provide any further information.

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