The Dallas County Medical Examiner has ruled the death of 22-year-old Elizabeth Lightfoot an accident instead of homicide, according to the autopsy report released Monday. The North Dallas hairdresser's charred body was found dead in her burning vehicle on Nov. 4.
Lightfoot's body was found around 2:30 a.m. in north Dallas. Firefighters were called to the 16000 block of Preston road because a small silver Mazda sedan was on fire in a ravine, reported the Dallas Morning News. After putting out the fire, firefighters found a body in the driver's seat and contacted police authorities.
The Dallas Police Department told CBS 19 they will continue to investigate the case as a homicide despite the report. The Medical Examiner found Lightfoot's cause of death was smoke inhalation and thermal injury. The report also claimed she was drunk at the time of her death with a blood alcohol level of 0.36, four times the legal limit for driving.
This case will remain open until conclusive evidence is found that fully explains Ms. Lightfoot's death, read a department news release.
The Medical Examiner's findings are one component of a comprehensive investigation, police spokesman Lt. Scott Walton said in a statement, reported WFAA-TV. Dallas Police Department homicide investigators in consultation with DFR's arson investigators continue to treat Ms. Lightfoot's death as a homicide.
The Dallas Fire Rescue department also said Lightfoot's death will remain under investigation until more information is found regarding the circumstances of her death. The Fire Rescue team seemed to believe that gasoline was poured on Lightfoot's vehicle.
Lightfoot's family was unhappy with the results of the Medical Examiner's report.
Elizabeth Lightfoot's family is confused and heartbroken with the current ruling by the M.E's office, family spokesman Blake Lewis told WFAA-TV.
I think we continue to believe there's a murder, he continued. There are too many unanswered questions. The cause of the fire in the vehicle is only but one piece of the broader situation.
Oaks Farms Dairy offered a $10,000 reward for information regarding Lightfoot's death and Dallas County Crime Stoppers offered an additional $5,000.
A public memorial was held in Lightfoot's honor at the Lakewood Theater on Nov. 20.