Nassau County detectives are investigating a gruesome find near a synagogue - the charred remains of a man in an abandoned car.
A caretaker at B'Nai Israel Temple in Freeport discovered a car engulfed in flames about 7 p.m. Friday.
"The caretaker hears a popping sound, and sees the four-door sedan on fire," Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said.
After firefighters put out the blaze, they found a man in the backseat.
The medical examiner's office will determine how the man died. Authorities couldn't immediately identify him.
The fire was set on the first night of Hanukah, but police don't think the holiday or the car's proximity to the house of worship were factors in the crime.
"On the surface, it does not appear to have anything to do with the synagogue," Smith said.
Cops were trying to figure out if the victim, believed to be African American, was killed before the fire. Police identified the vehicle as a Dodge, but were still trying yesterday to determine the model of the car.
No one has been arrested.