Louis Fanning's body was found near his vehicle Monday afternoon less than 2 miles north of his home near Carlsbad. Fanning was 72 years old, and he suffered from alzheimer's disease and a heart condition.
The Eddy County Sheriff's Office says that Fanning was trying to drive through tall grass when his vehicle got stuck and set the grass on fire. The vehicle was burned, but Fanning apparently escaped.
Fanning's body will be sent to medical investigators in Albuquerque to determine the cause of death.