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Hawaii News

Woman found burned in car

The body of a 54-year-old Kaneohe businesswoman was found yesterday in a burning car at her husband’s former auto shop.

Firefighters found the woman’s burned body shortly before 6 a.m. after putting out the car fire at 46-132 Kahuhipa St. in Kaneohe, a Fire Department spokesman said. The fire took place at Barr’s Muffler & Welding Shop.

The city medical examiner’s office identified the woman as Dahlia Barr. An autopsy is scheduled today to determine the cause of her death.

Police said officers responded to a caller who report a muffled explosion in the shop’s parking lot at 5:17 a.m.

Officers opened an unattended-death case, an indication that police do not suspect foul play.

Mark Kawata, a lawyer for Dahlia Barr, said he does not believe his client committed suicide.

"When we heard that this happened, we were shocked," Kawata said in an interview.

According to state business records, Dahlia Barr was vice president and director of the muffler shop in 2008.

Her husband, Robert Barr, was the owner of the muffler shop and Smokin Bob’s Barr-B-Q, located at the same address. Phone numbers to both businesses were out of service yesterday.

Kawata said the Barrs were in the process of getting a divorce. He said he spoke with Dahlia Barr on Sunday and that she did not seem depressed and was talking about going to a divorce hearing today to discuss her rights to parts of the business.

Kawata said Dahlia Barr believed her husband, who has been severely ill, was being manipulated by business associates who took over his finances and sought control of the businesses.

Robert Barr had a heart attack and suffers from diabetes that required amputation of his legs in February.

"Robert Barr is seriously ill and being taken advantage of," Dahlia Barr said in a court declaration related to her divorce.

The business associates could not be reached for comment.


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