Police believe they know the identity of a person whose charred remains were found next to a burned out car near Wellington this morning.
Emergency services were called to the remote Belmont Regional Park, in the hills above Lower Hutt, shortly after 7am.
A white hearse left the scene just after 12pm and police said inquiries at the scene were continuing.
"We believe we know the identity of the victim and formally confirming this will be a priority over the coming days," a statement says.
Acting Hutt Valley police area commander Terry van Dillen said police were concentrating on contacting the dead person's family.
"We've got one badly burned out car and we found a body not far out of the car as well."
He said the dead person was found next to the driver's door. The car, which is yet to be identified, was in a carpark, some 300m from the park's entrance at the end of Hill Rd.
Belmont is a popular walking, running and cycling route and the park is isolated, with only one house in the near vicinity.
The occupants of the house said they didn't know anything about the fire, but police had asked them if they saw or heard anything.
A police car was blocking the entrance to the park but two cyclists made it in after entering from another track for their Friday morning outing.
As Ashley Sparks and his riding mate approached the car a policewoman told them not to come near, but from a couple of hundred metres away he could see the wreckage, which Mr Sparks said was "toast".
"There's not much left of it."
There were a number of police and firefighters at the scene, he said.
Police are yet to release the dead person's name. More information would be made public after pathologists' and post-mortem inquiries, expected to be completed early next week.
"We would like to assure the public that we are not seeking anyone else in connection with this incident," police said.