A Detroit-area man driving back to Michigan from Arizona failed to report a woman with him had died and completed the trip with her corpse.
Ray Tomlinson's 93-year-old mother also was in the van. The trio left the Phoenix area Sunday after the woman, who was Tomlinson's girlfriend, checked out of a mental health facility. As they drove Monday through the southwest U.S., the 62-year-old Clinton Township man discovered the 31-year-old Roseville woman's body was cold.
"I went like this, you know, nudged her, at this point in time she was stiff," said Tomlinson. "There wasn't jerking or moans or groans, or cries for help, she just fell asleep."
Police say she may have taken oxycodone.
Tomlinson never stopped and never called for help. Instead, he looked up on his phone what to do with a corpse. He learned he apparently had 48 hours to get her to a morgue. He said he was planning to take her to the Macomb County Morgue.
"I can just take her to the Macomb County Morgue, that was my plan," he said.
Someone at the mental health facility called the woman's cell to check on her and Tomlinson told them she was dead.
"I just drove and drove, and I knew I'd be in some kind of trouble," said Tomlinson.
When he refused to contact police, the facility called police. Michigan authorities contacted Tomlinson who met them Tuesday in Warren.
"It's strange to think someone could drive 26 hours with a dead person sitting next to them," said Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green.
The Macomb County Medical Examiner's office has the body. Police say a post-mortem examination shows no signs of foul play. Investigators are awaiting a toxicology report.
Michigan man drives hundreds of miles from southwest US with girlfriend's corpse in passenger seat