Body found in burning vehicle was Arlington Heights man's

Updated 5/4/2022 12:57 PM

A 27-year-old Arlington Heights man was identified as the person whose body was found in a vehicle engulfed in flames in February southwest of Marengo, the McHenry County coroner's office said Tuesday.

Thomas Ciemniak could not be identified in February because of the "intense heat of the fire," the McHenry County coroner's office. Dental records and DNA evidence were used to make the identification.


The investigation by the McHenry County sheriff's office is closed, Deputy Kevin Byrnes said late Tuesday. Nothing suspicious was found about the fire or death.

Ciemniak worked as a software engineer for Capital One after graduating from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, according to his obituary. He attended Rolling Meadows High School, where he was in the marching, symphonic and jazz bands. He also was also on the soccer, swimming, tennis and math teams.

"He was an incredibly kind, patient and gentle person who was loved deeply by his friends and family," according to the obituary. "He made it a priority to support his loved ones when they needed him, and always showed up with joy, compassion, and playfulness."

Deputies responded about 1:50 a.m. Feb. 4 to the vehicle fire near the intersection of Blissdale and Jackson roads. Once the fire was extinguished, a body was found inside the vehicle.

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