A man drives his dead girlfriend across country with a corpse sitting in the passenger seat citing love. The man, identified as Ray Tomlinson, arrived in Michigan after a road-trip that lasted 48 hours from Arizona.
On June 7, the Examiner reported that Tomlinson also had his 93-year-old mother along for the ride. He made sure the corpse wore her seatbelt, “he did not break any laws. It is not illegal to transport a dead body across the country,” the site said. He said it wasn’t a crime, and ironically, police officers agreed.
The girlfriend, 31, died during the trip. Determined not to leave her body alone in a hospital and convinced he had 48 hours to report the death, Tomlinson decided to keep on driving and get her home to Michigan.
“I cared too much for her,” the man told the Detroit Free Press after driving his dead girlfriend across the country.
Police have not determined a cause of death yet, but said it could have been a drug overdose because she was found with an empty bottle of OxyContin.
Tomlinson has not been charged and foul play is not suspected. The 62-year-old man said he met the woman, who was homeless, last year while she waited for her boyfriend to get out of prison.
Then, Tomlinson went to Arizona with his mom for the winter. She met him there. He helped her get back on her feet, he said, and let her stay with him.
They became a couple, Tomlinson told the newspaper.
The woman was hospitalized a nine times in Arizona for mental health and drug problems, ABC7 reported. The two left for Michigan with Tomlinson’s mother after the woman was released from a facility with several drug prescriptions, including one for OxyContin. He said that she had a history of drug problems and that their relationship began after he took her in and helped her receive treatment.
Then, somewhere in Oklahoma or Texas, the woman died. Police suspect that the woman may have died of a drug overdose and that an autopsy does not show signs of foul play.
Tomlinson was determined to make it back to Michigan, even after an employee from the Arizona hospital learned about what happened when she called to check in on the woman. Tomlinson answered the call, explained the situation and said he’d contact police when he got home.
By the time the driver made it to Michigan, the body had begun to decompose, police said.
Tomlinson told officers that he thought he had 48 hours to report the death. He admitted that he could have done things differently, but was overcome with denial and grief after the death. “I just lost a very close friend,” he told the newspaper. The man also wanted to show his love to his dead girlfriend by driving across the country.
Police were first made aware of Tomlinson driving his girlfriend’s dead body cross-country when an employee from the facility she had previously checked out of called to schedule a follow-up appointment in Michigan. Tomlinson told the employee what had happened. “I just drove and drove, and I knew I’d be in some kind of trouble,” Tomlinson told WDIV.
Police found the woman in the passenger seat of the vehicle with her seat belt fastened. She wore a blue tie-dyed tank top and sunglasses, a blanket covered her lap and investigators found a trimmed-off straw in her pocket. “I just lost a very close friend,” Tomlinson said.