WARREN (WWJ) – It was a long, strange road trip for a 62-year-old Macomb County man who traveled halfway across the country with a dead body in the passenger’s seat of his van.
According to police, the deceased woman had been at a mental health facility in Aurora, Arizona , where the Clinton Township man and his 92-year-old mother spend their winters
The 31-year-old woman, who police say had a relationship with the man, joined the pair on the trip back to Michigan last Sunday. After stopping at a gas station restroom in Flagstaff, the woman apparently died from a prescription drug overdose, according to Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green.
Green said, instead of stopping, the man continued the 26-hour drive — the dead woman buckled in the passenger’s seat, with sunglasses hiding her eyes.
“He Googled looking for information about what to do with a deceased body,” said Green. “He was convinced by what he read on that site that it was OK; he had 48 hours before she needed to be tended to in any way.”
Green said the authorities became aware of the situation when someone at the mental health facility called the woman to remind her to make an appointment once she got to Michigan. The man answered the phone.
“He tells them, ‘Well, she can’t — she’s dead,'” Green said.
Someone with the mental health facility convinced the man to call 911, and a Macomb County Sheriff’s Department dispatcher called police.
“We have a really unusual situation going on,” the dispatcher said. “Uh…We have a male on the phone that has driven from Arizona, and… it sounds like he has a deceased body…a deceased female in his car. He was determined to go to the morgue, but we’ve been trying to stop him and ping his phone. We got him finally to pull over.”
The case is currently being reviewed by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s office to determine possible charges.
The man’s name has not been released.