Michigan man drives across the country with his dead girlfriend - KMSP-TV

Michigan man drives across the country with his dead girlfriend in the passenger seat

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A 62 year-old man traveled across the country to pick up his girlfriend and take her on a road trip to his home in Michigan.

It sounds normal, but it's on the ride home that this trip took a gruesome turn.

According to police, Ray Tomlinson picked up a woman at a mental health facility in Glendale, Arizona. The couple then traveled to Flagstaff where they made a stop.

After that stop is when Tomlinson allegedly drove all the way to Warren, Michigan with her body propped up in the passenger seat.

The mental health facility called Tomlinson and instructed him to take her to a care facility in Michigan, that is when he told them she had died. The facility then notified authorities.

The woman was last seen alive when the couple stopped in Flagstaff when the woman may have ingested several oxycodone pills.

"There are some indications that there may have been some drug usage she gets back in the van looks like she dies quickly almost immediately after she leaves the gas station," said Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green.

Investigators say Tomlinson put sunglasses on her and propped her body upright leaving her in the passengers seat as he returned to Michigan. He also made stops in New Mexico and Oklahoma where he asked if she needed to exit the vehicle. She did not respond, and that is when he knew she had died.

"He Googled for information on what to do with the woman's body, he thought he had 48 hours to present the body to the medical examiner, so he wanted to get back to Michigan before she had to be tended to anyway," said Det. Sgt. Stephen Mills.

Tomlinson's 92-year-old mother was also riding in the back of the van in her wheelchair.

He says he refused to stop in part because he feared being incarcerated if police investigated.

Local authorities reached out to the man who insisted on continuing to Michigan. Tomlinson also told the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News he kept driving after she died because he had his elderly mother in the van and wanted to get her home. He says he wanted to get the body to a morgue in Michigan.

Detectives met the man at his son's Michigan house on Monday as he arrived. No charges have been filed as authorities wait for toxicology results from the woman's autopsy.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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