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ND man, who got stuck in snow, has tires start on fire, dies in pickup

An SUV idles while its owner shops at Walmart on 13th Avenue South in Fargo. Blake Gumprecht / The Forum

STANLEY, N.D. -- The burned body thought to be a man reported missing at 9 a.m. Wednesday has been recovered, according to a statement released Friday by Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson.

A 911 call was received by the sheriff's office reporting a burned GMC pickup located southeast of Stanley in northwest North Dakota. The man's body was found inside the vehicle and transported to the North Dakota Forensic Examiner's Office for autopsy and positive identification.

An investigation of the scene determined that the driver of the vehicle had gotten stuck on a minimum maintenance road, freed himself then drove into a field. When the driver attempted to get out of the field, the vehicle became stuck in deep snow, according to Halvorson, who said it appeared the vehicle was left running still in the drive position when the spinning tires became hot and combusted.

The name of the driver will not be released until a positive identification has been made, Halvorson said.