Police believe that a suspicious death in Rangitikei may in fact have been a suicide.
Robin James Te Wano was pulled from his car by passing motorists 12 weeks ago at Vinegar Hill Reserve, just off State Highway 1 near Hunterville.
Rescuers could not resuscitate Mr Te Wano, who lived in the Ohakune area, and the coroner will now determine how the 62-year-old died.
Police and ESR scientists spent three days at the scene although some details remain unclear, including how the fire in the engine bay began.
But Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Anstis says many other factors point to suicide.