Detective Acting Inspector Mark Procter speaks to media about Murwillumbah teenager Samuel Reeve who was burnt in his car in Southport on Sunday.
Detective Acting Inspector Mark Procter speaks to media about Murwillumbah teenager Samuel Reeve who was burnt in his car in Southport on Sunday. Contributed

Murwillumbah teen severely burned in car fire

POLICE have confirmed the identity of a man set alight on the Gold Coast early Sunday, as Murwillumbah teenager Samuel Reeve.

Mr Reeve, 19, was rushed to the Royal Brisbane Hospital's burns unit in a serious condition after his body allegedly set alight while sitting in his car near the intersection of Wardoo and Baratta Sts, Southport about 7.45am on Sunday.

In a press conference held on the Gold Coast on Monday, Detective Acting Inspector Mark Procter of Queensland Police confirmed the name of the victim as 19-year-old Samuel Reeve from Murwillumbah.

Det Insp Procter said police would not be able to interview Mr Reeve about the incident for at least a week, as he remained in an induced coma in hospital.

"He's in a serious but stable condition," Det Insp Procter said.

"He's got burns to the right side of his body including around his neck and mouth, but we've been advised that his injuries are not life threatening."

While mystery surrounds the incident, Det Insp Procter said it didn't appear to be a matter of road rage, and police had ruled out a random attack.

"There is a lot that is unknown about the incident," he said.

"The only thing we can rule out is that it wasn't a random attack, as in, someone did not throw petrol at the car and light it.

"The fuel was inside the vehicle. We believe whatever has happened has originated from inside the vehicle. We know no-one's thrown anything at the car."

He said there was so far no evidence to support initial reports of gunshots being heard.

Det Insp Procter said Mr Reeve's family did not know why Mr Reeve was on the Gold Coast at the time of the "bizarre" incident.

He urged anyone with insight into Mr Reeve's activities at the location to contact police.

Despite early reports a person was seen running from the vehicle, police hadn't confirmed this.

"Unless we can find a witness... we'll have to wait until Sam comes out of his coma," Det Insp Procter said.

"We'd certainly like to speak to anyone who saw someone running from the scene."

He commended the members of the public who assisted Mr Reeve after the incident, including neighbours who helped cool him down by dousing him with water from a garden hose.

Police have urged anyone who saw Mr Reeve's silver Toyota Camry, with NSW registration BM 52 VZ, in Southport around the time of the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at crimestoppers.com.au.



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