Lobbyist's Body Found in Burning Car on Capitol Hill

A Washington lobbyist's body was found in a burning car in southeast Washington Monday morning.

Exactly what happened is unclear, but rescue crews were called to the 800 block of A Street SE on Capitol Hill for a fire inside a residential garage.

A BMW SUV was stopped at an angle partially inside the garage of the rowhouse.  The vehicle was on fire.  When the blaze was put out, firefighters found the body of a 37-year-old Ashley Turton inside the vehicle.

Investigators said they believe some sort of crash caused the fire. Turton apparently was pulling out, but in order to pass a vehicle in the driveway, she had to pull back in to the garage and apparently struck something that caused the fire.

"The leading theory is that it was a crash, then a subsequent fire," said Pete Piringer of D.C. Fire and EMS.

Property records show Turton and her husband, White House adviser Dan Turton, lived at the southeast Washington rowhouse where D.C. firefighters found the body in the burning car.

Ashley Turton was a lobbyist for Progress Energy Inc. Mike Hughes, a spokesman for the Raleigh, N.C.-based company, said co-workers are devastated to hear of Turton's death. He said Turton was the mother of three young children.

Sources said Ashley Turton was leaving early for work Monday morning because her company was announcing a merger with another company.

“Ashley was a valued employee whose insight and hard work had been critical on so many of our legislative and regulatory issues," said Progress CEO Bill Johnson said in a statement. "She was also a dear friend to many of us and this news is very hard to take. I know we all will keep her husband, children and parents in our thoughts and prayers. Today is an eventful day for us as employees of Progress Energy. Ashley’s tragic death reminds us all to keep perspective in all things.”

Turton joined the company in 2007 after serving as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro.

Daniel Turton is the White House deputy director of legislative affairs for the U.S. House.

Ashley Turton was the mother of three children.

Stay with NBCWashington.com for more information.

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