July 27 (UPI) -- A plastic-wrapped SUV found buried in an Oklahoma family's back yard could be evidence of insurance fraud by the previous property owners, police said.
Fredie Green said the 2003 Chevy Trailblazer was found buried in the middle of a trail he and his family used for riding ATVs and motocross bikes behind their home on Bethel Rd.
"We jumped off this car for several years with our ATV and motocross bikes, without ever knowing it," Green told KFOR-TV.
Green's son, Cody, said he discovered the subterranean vehicle while digging to adjust the jump on the trail.
"Went down a little deep and the tractor just stopped," Cody Green said. "I went, 'man, what is this?' Well I end up digging some more and got to the hood of it, and 'this is a car!'"
Fredie Green said he feared some of the darker possibilities of the vehicle when Cody called to tell him about the discovery.
"Alerted me, 'dad, we got a car buried six-foot underground,' and I told my son, 'stop right there and leave it alone,'" he said.
Green said he called the authorities and said, "just make sure that there were no dead bodies in the car."
Pottawatomie County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and finished digging up the SUV, which was wrapped in plastic. They dragged the vehicle out of the hole and tore off the doors, discovering to Green's relief that there were no bodies inside.
Sheriff's Lt. Robert Stewart said the SUV might still be evidence of a crime. He said the license plates indicated the SUV belonged to the property's previous owner, who moved out about 10 years ago.
Stewart said the Trailblazer had been reported stolen.
"He had reported it stolen in 2003," when the truck was brand new, Stewart said. "He at one time owned that property that vehicle was located on."
Stewart and Sheriff Mike Booth said detectives are looking into whether the previous owner buried the SUV as part of an insurance fraud scheme.
"It's amazing that someone could even go that far to bury a brand new car," Fredie Green said. "It's amazing."