Death of Woman Found in Burning Car Ruled Accidental

Dallas Police say the case remains open until there's an explanation for Lightfoot's death

By Frank Heinz and Elvira Sakmari
|  Tuesday, Dec 20, 2011  |  Updated 4:38 PM CDT
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Remembering Elizabeth Lightfoot

Dallas Police Department

Elizabeth Lightfoot.

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Reward Offered in Lightfoot Murder Case

Oak Farms Dairy has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person who killed Elizabeth Lightfoot.

Remembering Elizabeth Lightfoot

Friends and family of Elizabeth Lightfoot gathered to say one last goodbye on Sunday night at Lakewood Theater.
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The Dallas County Medical Examiner says the death of a hairdresser found in her burning car was accidental; the Dallas police aren't so sure.

Elizabeth Lightfoot was found in the driver's seat of her car after firefighters put out an early morning car fire behind a strip shopping center in the 1600 block of Preston Road on Nov. 4.

On Monday the medical examiner said Lightfoot, 22, died of smoke inhalation and thermal injury. 

Dallas Police call the circumstances surrounding Lightfoot's death "unusual" and in a Monday afternoon statement said the case is remains open: 

"The Medical Examiner’s findings are one component of a comprehensive investigation. Dallas Police Department Homicide Investigators in consultation with Dallas Fire and Rescue Arson Investigators continue to treat Ms. Lightfoot’s death as a homicide. This case will remain open until conclusive evidence is found that fully explains Ms. Lightfoot’s death."

Friends and family of Lightfoot say they are still searching for answers.

"Elizabeth Lightfoot's family is confused and heartbroken with the current ruling by the Dallas County Medical Examiner' office. We pray that someone with any information about Elizabeth's death will contact Det. Thompson to help in the ongoing investigation by the Dallas Police Dept," said Blake Lewis, Lightfoot family spokesperson.

Three days after her body was discovered Dallas Police Department said Lightfoot was alive when someone set fire to her Mazda 6.

"To clarify the cause of death of Miss Lightfoot, she died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the fire that was intentionally set by the suspect," said Kevin Janse, with the Dallas Police Department said on Nov. 7.

Lightfoot, a hairstylist at Salon Republic, had been out with friends at a restaurant in Farmers Branch earlier in the evening. At about midnight, they all left to go home.  All but Lightfoot made it home safely.

Police announced a $10,000 reward from Oak Farms Dairy for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Lightfoot's alleged killer.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call the Dallas Police Department Homicide Unit at 214-671-3661.

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