UPDATE: Police release brief statement on death of Jason Heinitz
The Clinton Police Department released a statement following the death of Jason Heinitz.
Officials say at this time they are conducting interviews and the reports should be completed sometime this week.
Jason was pronounced dead after police found him near a burning truck at Oakland Cemetery over the weekend in Clinton. At this time, the cause of the fire is still unknown.
Police tell TV-6 they will not be releasing any further statements until all agencies have finished their investigations and have turned their reports in.
A fire at a cemetery in Clinton has left family and friends mourning the death of Jason Heinitz.
Clinton Police and Fire responded to the scene at 4:28 on Sunday. Upon arrival, responders located a pickup truck engulfed in flames. They quickly identified the victim as Jason Heinitz of Clinton. Shock is now setting in for those close to him.
"It was about 4:30," said Doug Wing, a close friend of Jason's. "I live on 3rd street, and after seeing all the fire trucks drive by, I noticed all the smoke coming from the area. At the time I didn't know who was involved, I saw the fire trucks outside. A little later I heard an explosion. An explosion of a tire. You could see the smoke become a little more black."
Doug says Jason would often visit Oakland Cemetery to pay respects to a family members plot. Just steps away from that parcel, ashes now remain from what appears to be a fire.
"I can assume he came out here to visit T.J.," says Wing. "Probably had issues with his vehicle. One thing led to another."
Clinton police confirmed that Heinitz was found dead on the scene with injuries associated with the vehicle fire. Police are still investigating the case. They do not have any additional details on what happened at the cemetery.
Jason Heinitz was well-loved by his community. He was a photographer, an actor and a family man. He was described by his loved ones as compassionate. Creating touching memories with those around him.
"We were driving towards a highway and there's a cop coming in the opposite direction just splashing water everywhere. And sure enough, Jason and I got drenched," says Wing.
For now, those close to Heinitz are looking for ways to support each other after this unexpected loss.
"I want everyone to be how Jason would be," says Wing. "Smiling, enjoying life."
Friends and family are mourning the loss of a "compassionate" man after he died unexpectedly over the weekend.
Earlier Monday morning police in Clinton released that 38-year-old Jason Heinitz had died after a truck he was in had caught fire. Police say they were called for a report of a vehicle fire inside Oakland Cemetery in Clinton. Upon arrival, officers located Jason near the truck with injuries from the fire.
Jason's sister says he was "caring" and was there for anyone who needed it.
"My brother Jason L. Heinitz was the most compassionate caring man with not only his family but also his community," Cassie tells TV-6. "He was a lot of things to a lot of people. He was there for anyone in any time of need. He adored his wife and kids, he enjoyed being behind the camera to capture animals, storms and anything beautiful."
Cassie also tells TV-6 that Jason was known as "Spider-Man" and the community followed him in his acting.
One friend of Jason's tells TV-6 they acted on Chicago Fire, Chicago MED and were also acting together in an upcoming movie.
An investigation involving the Clinton Police Department, Clinton Fire Department, Iowa Fire Marshal, and the Iowa Medical Examiner is in progress.
At this time the cause of the fire is not known.