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Foul Play Not Suspected in Pasture Fire

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STEPHENS CO., Okla_  The Stephens County Sheriff said foul play is not suspected after a man's burned body was found in a pasture near a burned truck.

A spokesman from the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal's Office said it appears the truck got stuck in the field, causing the truck to catch fire. That led to the grass fire and 70-year-old Gene Whaley's death. Firefighters found the Bray man's body when they arrived to battle the grass fire near Goad and Goodrich roads, about five miles east of Marlow.

The property where Whaley was found does not belong to him. Authorities are still working on why he was on the property and unable to get away from the fire.

ORIGINAL STORY - October 9, 2013

 Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney has identified the body found following a grass fire today as that of 70-year-old Dale Gene Whaley of Bray.

Whaley's body was discovered after crews had responded to a grass fire near Goad and Goodrich roads, about five miles east of Marlow.  He was lying behind a burned pickup.

"There is no foul play suspected at all at the current time. But, we still have a lot of loose ends to close up. We've asked for the assistance of the state fire marshal. They are going to take the primary lead since it is a fire-related occurrence."

McKinney says they still don't know how Whaley died. He also said they're trying to figure out what he was doing on the property, because it's not Whaley's.  But, the sheriff said in that part of the county, that's not unusual.

"These people all know each other, especially the gentleman that is deceased, has lived in this area his whole life so, it's too early to speculate on what he was doing in the pasture."

Several hundred acres of pasture was burned and it took fire crews from Bray, Marlow and Grady County to put the fire out. They're still now sure how the fire started, or where, and how the two events are connected, but they are continuing to investigate.

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