Police are working to identify a body found in a burning car yesterday.

The body was found in a Toyota Corolla station wagon at a lay-by off State Highway 1 at Tuamarina, 10km north of Blenheim, after police and the fire service were alerted about 8.30am yesterday.

Tasman police district spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said inquiries were continuing to identify the body and determine the cause of the fire.

Other media yesterday reported police describing the area where the car was on fire as a "crime scene", but Ms Dunn wouldn't comment when asked by the Herald if the death was suspicious. "All I can say is that it's unexplained."

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She could not be contacted this morning.

Senior Sergeant Lyn Fleming, of Nelson, spoke to the officers in charge of the investigation about 9am and was told a post-mortem on the body was expected to take place in Christchurch tomorrow.

No other details were available, but police had told her the body appeared to be that of an adult.

Police want to speak to anyone who saw anyone in or near the car.

Those with information should call Blenheim police on (03) 578 5279 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.