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Woman Drives With Dead Body in Car Passenger Seat for Months

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on October 25, 2010 7:09 AM

We at Legally Weird specialize in the odd, the absurd, the sometimes creepy side of American law. Therefore, out of sheer necessity, we have developed a few specialties. Crime linked to fast food restaurants. Bizarre uses of the 911 system. Lawsuits that would make Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia weep. An unfortunately growing specialty seems to be that of dead bodies and the above-ground adventures of those that have already "passed."

According to MSNBC, on October 18, police discovered a somewhat mummified body in a car belonging to a former real estate agent in the Southern California town of Costa Mesa. Like many accused of graver crimes, the "suspect" in this case was brought in by police after a simple parking violation: her car was blocking a driveway. Upon examining the car, officers noticed a telltale smell emanating from the vehicle. Then they saw the leg.

Before you jump to the conclusion that the poor real estate agent was guilty of much more than selling overpriced property, know that MSNBC reports the autopsy has revealed no signs of foul play. It seems that the dead body was that of a homeless woman, currently known only as Signe. Signe was befriended by the agent and car owner and was allowed by her friend to sleep there.

Upon finding her homeless friend's dead body in the car, the agent was too afraid to tell anyone; so she just drove around with the woman's body in the back seat for approximately ten months. On discovering the body, police noticed an open box of baking soda on the seat next to it. Well, it is supposed to reduce odors.

The police have not charged the poor real estate agent with any crimes, but there is the possibility of a health code violation lurking in the future. In addition, many jurisdictions have laws defining appropriate handling of corpses which would likely not be satusfied by a ride in 1997 Mercury Marquis.

Officers will be using DNA testing to try and further identify and possibly find a more reasonable resting place for the body.

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