DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area man was so determined to get to Michigan from Arizona that he refused to stop and contact authorities after one of his passengers died, police said Wednesday.
The man, a 62-year-old Clinton Township resident, has not been charged and authorities were awaiting toxicology results from an autopsy performed on the body of the 31-year-old woman who died.
Police said the man and his 92-year-old mother spend their winters in Arizona and were returning to Michigan with a 31-year-old woman with whom the man said he had had a romantic relationship. When officers arrived Tuesday at his son's home in Warren, just north of Detroit, the man was weeping on the curb and his mother was in her wheelchair in the back of the van. The dead woman's corpse was in the front passenger seat wearing a seatbelt and sunglasses.
"She obviously had been dead for at least 24 hours in screeching heat," said Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green.
Police did not release the names of the man or the dead woman.
Their 1,700 mile journey began Sunday in the Phoenix area after the woman checked herself out of a mental health facility there. At some point the woman, who had a history of substance abuse problems, may have taken oxycodone, Green said.
"They stopped in Flagstaff and she went in to use the bathroom," Green said. "We're guessing she might have overdosed."
Green said the driver later tried to wake her but discovered her body was cold and presumed that she had died. He did an Internet search on his cellphone and later told police he read something about having 48 hours to take a corpse to a medical examiner or morgue.
As their macabre journey continued, someone at the mental health facility in Arizona called the woman's cellphone to check on her.
"It's a courtesy call," Green said. "He answers and said, 'She can't talk. ... She's dead.'"
The caller told him to immediately contact police. The driver didn't and later told investigators he was afraid police would arrest them and seize his van.
The facility filed a missing persons report and police contacted the driver, who met them Tuesday. The man has not been arrested and the case is under investigation.
The man gave police explanations for his actions, "which made sense to him," Green said. But "was he committing a crime or was it stupidity?"
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A woman who led California Highway Patrol officers on a chase from the San Diego area to Santa Clarita was pulled from the vehicle and taken into custody Tuesday night on the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway.
Protesters on Tuesday made their way into a National City Council meeting to demand answers over the death of Earl McNeil.
Hundreds of friends and family on Tuesday gathered to celebrate the short but powerful life of a Chula Vista teen killed in a hit-and-run crash.
The weather often plays a role in health trends, and our current hot, humid conditions are no exception. The nurse practitioners at CVS Minute Clinic said some of the most common issues are nothing more than skin deep.
A downtown bar in San Diego is facing backlash after it promoted a party to celebrate Comic-Con attendees leaving San Diego after the convention ends.
In February 2018, the City of San Diego admitted more than 300 water customers had been overcharged due to human error.
Residents across the San Diego region are reporting an increase of coyote sightings around their homes.
At some point in life, many people stop worrying about what other people think - and only do what makes them happy.
News 8 Sports Director, Kyle Kraska, spent a few hours with Padres all-time great Trevor Hoffman who is headed to Cooperstown to be inducted into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.
So-called "porch pirates" aren't new in San Diego, but one is turning online shopping, for some, into a nasty trick. A man was recently caught on camera swapping delivered packages with empty ones.