D.C. police and fire investigators continued to gather evidence Monday into the circumstances that killed a lobbyist mother of three inside her Capitol Hill garage. Firefighters found the burned body of 37-year-old Ashley Turton around 5 a.m. while battling a blaze inside a garage attached to a two-and-a-half story row house at 800 A Street SE, near the Eastern Market.

Turton, the mother of 3-year-old twins and a 1-year-old, worked as a lobbyist for the North Carolina-based Progress Energy and was the wife of Dan Turton, the White House's deputy director of legislative affairs for the U.S. House of Representatives. She helped pave the way for the energy company's merger with Duke Energy, which was announced Monday.

Bill Johnson, CEO of Progress Energy, released a statement about the death of Turton, who had worked for the company since 2007.

"She was a dear friend to many of us, and this news is hard to take," Johnson said. "Ashley's death reminds us all to keep perspective in all things."

Around 5 a.m., D.C. firefighters responded to a report of a garage fire at the corner of A Street and 8th Street and found heavy smoke and fire coming from the garage, fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said. The homeowner initially told rescue crews that everyone inside had been accounted for, Piringer said.

While knocking down the blaze, rescue crews discovered the body in a vehicle, a BMW X5 sports utility vehicle, inside the garage. Turton was pronounced dead on the scene.

"There's a lot to sort out, but the lead theory is the car crashed through the interior of the garage and was found on fire," Piringer said.

Police said the fire started after impact and quickly engulfed the entire garage and SUV. It's unclear why the driver couldn't get out of the vehicle.

Investigative sources said the car appeared to have struck a workbench at a low speed before the fire started.

The SUV was stopped at an odd angle, another indicator that the SUV was moving before the fire started.

The case is being investigated by the D.C. police major crash investigations unit, along with the D.C. Fire Department's arson investigations unit.

Turton was previously the chief of staff to Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.