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Sheriff IDs 81-year-old Omaha man found after Denton crash
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Sheriff IDs 81-year-old Omaha man found after Denton crash

From the What you missed this week in notable Southeast Nebraska crimes and court cases series
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Authorities have identified the body found steps away from a burning car near Denton early Tuesday morning. 

But there are plenty of questions still unanswered in the death of 81-year-old Gary Olsen, the Omaha man whom Lancaster County deputies found dead at 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, Sheriff Terry Wagner said. 

The exact cause of Olsen's death remains unclear, as does the origin of the flames that had fully engulfed his vehicle by the time responders arrived. The car suffered minimal damage in the crash, and Olsen had suffered no obvious trauma after driving it into a ditch near Southwest 98th Street and Denton Road. 

And neither authorities nor Olsen's family have figured out why he was an hour away from his home at 2:45 a.m., Wagner said. 

Wagner said Olsen had suffered from preexisting medical conditions that could have played a role in the crash. Ring doorbell footage from neighbors showed Olsen leaving his house in Omaha sometime Monday morning and never returning, the sheriff said. 

The sheriff's office worked with the Omaha Police Department and the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office to identify Olsen. 

Wagner said the exact cause of Olsen's death still hasn't been determined, as authorities await toxicology results. He said the State Fire Marshal was unable to determine how the car caught on fire. 

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A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Andrew Wegley joined the Journal Star as breaking news reporter after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2021.

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