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Police ID Body in Van

Posted on: 1:19 pm, April 17, 2012, by , updated on: 06:26pm, April 17, 2012

Police in Monroe County said Tuesday the man who died in a burning van Monday was Robert Colthirst of Pocono Summit.

A home went up in flames Monday minutes before a burned mini-van was found less than three miles away with a man dead inside.

After going over all the evidence from Monday’s house explosion and car fire in the Mount Pocono area, police Tuesday came to the conclusion that it was Robert Colthirst who set his house on fire and then torched his van while he was sitting in the driver’s seat.

The home in the Stillwater Lakes development in Pocono Summit is now just a charred shell after it exploded and burst into flames.

Police said the force of the explosion blew out the windows and knocked the right side of the home off its foundation.

Police said due to a series of unfortunate incidents it appears the 70- year-old man who lived there alone torched his home, his van and himself.

According to detectives Colthirst was served with an eviction notice several days ago after defaulting on his mortgage.

The day his home exploded and went up in flames was also the day he was supposed to be evicted.

The state police helped investigate both fires and used a dog trained to sniff out accelerants.

Police said the dog detected some type of accelerant that was everywhere throughout the home and car.

Police believe Colthirst set his home on fire, drove to Mount Pocono then set his van on fire while he was sitting in the driver’s seat, taking his own life.

Police said Colthirst lived in the home alone for the past ten years.

According to neighbors he was a kind and friendly man, always willing to lend a helping hand.

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