Update: The victim of Columbia Bottom Road has been identified as Carlos Strickland, 37, of Carsonville, Mo.

ST. LOUIS – There are two homicide investigations spanning the city and county of St. Louis after two men were found dead and burned.

St. Louis County Police were called just after 2 p.m. Tuesday for a suspicious death.

When detectives arrived, they found a man dead and his body burned on the side of the road in the 12600 block of Columbia Bottom Road.

An autopsy performed Wednesday determined the man had been shot.

About 12 hours earlier, in south city, St. Louis police officers were called to an alley near Oregon Avenue after a man had been set on fire.

Police sources said it appeared the victim had also been shot.

Dr. Angelo Brown is a criminal justice and criminology professor. He’s also a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

“Most murderers are someone you know,” Brown said.

He has not been briefed by police on the cases but said the first step is to trace the last steps of the men who were killed.

“If the two victims know each other and there’s something related to them, then it seems like there’s some kind of emotional killing out of anger and vengeance,” Brown said.

Brown said murders involving burning the body are rare.

Investigators in both the city and county are talking to figure out if they might be searching for the same killer.

Brown said if police determine the cases are connected, it could be to show power.

“For example, a gang or some type of organization, if they kill someone in such a way that frightens people or puts fear in them,” Brown said.

A police source said city detectives took a U-Haul into evidence Wednesday, possibly in connection to the homicide in south city.