Two men have been arrested in the homicide of an unidentified male whose badly burned body was recovered from a brush fire on a San Jose freeway on-ramp Tuesday, police said today. Steven Burns and Christopher James, both 25 and without known addresses, were arrested Thursday following an investigation into the death of the man found at a possible homeless encampment, police said. The San Jose Fire Department responded at about 9:15 p.m. to a reported fire in some brush and trees on the Cottle Road on-ramp to northbound state Highway 85.
As they extinguished the blaze, firefighters discovered a body burning in the flames and notified the California Highway Patrol, which conducted a preliminary investigation, police said. The burned body was turned over to the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office, where an autopsy concluded that the man had been stabbed to death. The man remains unidentified today, according to the medical examiner’s office.
San Jose police investigated and arrested Burns on suspicion of murder and James on suspicion of being an accessory to the murder. While the motive for the slaying is unclear, police believe that Burns and the victim got into an altercation prior to the fatal stabbing and then the deceased man was set on fire.
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