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Iowa authorities rule body found in burned car a suicide

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Bobby Joe Knapp in 2011 (Photo from WHO-TV)

After his body was found in a burned car, the death of former Iowa property developer Bobby Joe Knapp has been ruled a suicide.

Knapp, 64, had been released from federal prison five days before his body was found. He was sentenced in June 2011 to 41 months in prison for violating the EPA’s Clean Air Act by improperly removing asbestos from the Equitable Building, as he renovated the building to house luxury condominiums, in downtown Des Moines.

When Knapp failed to check in to begin his two years of post-prison supervised release, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Knapp’s body was found Sunday, March 30, 2014 inside a burned car in Guthrie County. Police said the car had been stolen in Waukee, Iowa.

After an autopsy was conducted, Iowa investigators said Knapp’s death was ruled a suicide.

The medical examiner said Knapp died of “multiple cuts of the upper and lower extremities, complicated by smoke and soot inhalation.”