Man drives almost 2,000 miles with corpse in passenger seat

DETROIT, MI (CNN) – Police say a Detroit-area man drove from Arizona back home with his girlfriend’s corpse in the passenger seat; she apparently died during the trip.

“I can’t believe it happened,” one moment 62-year-old Ray Tomlinson is emotional the next he’s defiant, “There is no crime. It’s not illegal for carrying a body across the country.”

However, Tomlinson did transport a body on a bizarre 1,900 mile journey from Arizona to Warren 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.

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,” but Tomlinson never stopped, never 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 continued.

A person from his girlfriend’s care facility in Arizona called to check on her, Tomlinson said 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 said.

“It’s strange to think that someone can drive in a car for 26 hours with a dead person sitting next to them,” Commissioner Jere Green said.

Tomlinson met with Michigan authorities Tuesday, the incident is under investigation.

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