Anne Arundel County police have identified the body found Tuesday in the driver's seat of a burned Toyota Corolla as 80-year-old Ralph Weddington, a District Heights man who had worked for the Library of Congress. His death is believed to be accidental, police said.
The body was burned beyond recognition, but Weddington had recently had a hip replaced. A silver ball used in the operation withstood the fire, giving police a clue to his identity.
A construction worker found the car in the woods near the 2900 block of Riverscape Road in Piney Orchard, where a townhouse development is being built.
Weddington's landlord reported him missing to Prince George's County Police Jan. 13, authorities said. The landlord, whom police would not identify, said Weddington had been missing since Jan. 11.
The catalytic converter of Weddington's car caught fire, and the vehicle erupted in flames. Anne Arundel police speculated that his car could have slid off the dirt road in the slippery conditions caused by the freezing rain Jan. 11.
Pub Date: 1/29/99