Michigan man drives 1,900 miles with corpse in passenger seat

WDIV/CNN
Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 3:05pm

A bizarre story is unfolding in the great lake state.

Police say a man drove from Arizona, home to Michigan, with his girlfriend's corpse in the passenger seat of his van.

She apparently died during the trip, but he refused to stop!

One moment 62-year-old Ray Tomlinson is emotional: "I can't believe it happened," he says.

The next he's defiant: "There is no crime. It not illegal for carrying a body across the country."

But Tomlinson did transport a body on a bizarre 1,900 mile journey from Arizona to Warren, Michigan this past Monday.

Tomlinson’s 93-year-old mother was in the back of his van in a wheelchair.

In the passenger seat, his 31-year-old girlfriend from Roseville, Michigan.

Tomlinson says his girlfriend was troubled, just checked out of a mental health facility, was on all of these pain and mental health meds, and she took some medication as the three began their drive back to Michigan.

Somewhere in New Mexico his girlfriend wouldn't wake up.

"I said, I went like this you know because she was sitting in the front seat of the car next to me and I just said, you know, 'do you want something?' and at that point in time she was stiff," Tomlinson said, but he never stopped or called for help.

Instead he looked up on his phone what to do with a corpse, learning he apparently had 48 hours to get to a morgue.

"I can just take her to the Macomb County Morgue because that was my plan," Tomlinson explained.

A person from his girlfriend's care facility in Arizona called to check on her.

Tomlinson told them his girlfriend was dead.

The care facility called police here at home and police urged Tomlinson to stop and take the body to a hospital but Tomlinson refused.

"I just drove and drove because I knew I was going to be in some kind of trouble," Tomlinson told CNN affiliate WDIV-TV.

"It's strange to think that someone can drive in a car for 26 hours with a dead person sitting next to them," Warren Police Department Commissioner Jere Green told WDIV-TV.

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