DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The death of Elizabeth Lightfoot, the 22-year-old North Dallas hairdresser found dead inside her burning car on Nov. 4, has been ruled an accident instead of a homicide, according to autopsy results released Monday by the Dallas County Medical Examiner.
Lightfoot’s car had been set aflame in the 16000 block of Preston Road. She was dead inside the car by the time authorities found the vehicle.
Despite the medical examiner’s ruling, a Dallas Police Department news release said detectives would still investigate her death as a homicide. The cause of death, the ME found, was from smoke inhalation and thermal injury.
“This case will remain open until conclusive evidence is found that fully explains Ms. Lightfoot’s death,” read a department news release.
Dallas Fire Rescue issued a similar statement, saying “the case will remain in an ‘Under Investigation Status’ until factual information is identified that better explains Lightfoot’s death.”
Neither department offered further comment.
Since the tragedy, Dallas Police have pursued leads in the woman’s death by issuing videos, photos and rewards hoping someone would come forward with information.
They’ve released video of a person believed to be Lightfoot walking out of a Tom Thumb grocery store along Preston Road two hours before her body was found.
Investigators have asked the media to only use an updated photo of Lightfoot with dark hair, which is how investigators say she looked before she died.
Oak Farms Dairy offered a $10,000 reward in the case and Dallas County Crime Stoppers added another $5,000 to that total shortly thereafter.
Friends and family celebrated her life at a public memorial at the Lakewood Theater on Nov. 20.