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Dead body identified that was found in stolen car on Highway 65

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Posted at 10:32 AM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 15:43:56-05

UPDATE (1/23, 12:40 p.m.) The Kern County Sheriff's Office has identified the dead body found in a stolen car back on January 16.

49-year-old Evmir Miraflores Evangelista who was living in North Hollywood, was the deceased passenger found in the vehicle on Highway 65 near James Road.

The cause of death was ruled as a ligature strangle and the manner of death was a homicide

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UPDATE (1/22, 4:02 p.m.): Ben Barness pleaded not guilty on Jan. 22. He is scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 2.

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UPDATE (1/19, 9:13 a.m.): One of the men arrested earlier this week after officials found a dead body in the stolen car they were driving has bailed out, according to KCSO.

Manpreet Sidhu bailed out Thursday night. Ben Barness is still in custody and is being held on a possession of a stolen car charge, according to officials.

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Two men from Los Angeles are facing murder charges after a body was found in the stolen car they were driving in Bakersfield on Tuesday, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

On January 16, California Highway Patrol attempted to pull over a car for speeding on Highway 65 near James Road just before 7 a.m. That's when CHP found a dead man in the front passenger seat, according to KCSO. The car had been reported stolen out of Los Angeles County.

Officials arrested Los Angeles residents Ben Barness, 24, and Manpreet Sidhu, 39, who were in the car where the body was found. They were booked on charges including murder, conspiracy and possession of a stolen vehicle. 

On Thursday, the District Attorney's Office pushed the case back to KCSO pending further investigation.

The victim's name is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call KCSO at (661) 861-3110 or Secret Witness at (661) 322-4040.