A Michigan man was investigated this week after driving for 26 hours. A long road trip, to be sure, but what could he have done or transported that got him into trouble with the law? Reckless driving? Drugs? Guns? An endangered species? No, nothing of the sort. What Ray Tomlinson did was simply keep on driving -- after he discovered that his girlfriend was dead in the passenger seat behind him.
HLN reported June 4 that Ray Tomlinson, on his way back to Michigan from Arizona, decided not to stop and report that his girlfriend had died. He completed the 26-hour trip.
"I went like this, you know, nudged her, at this point in time she was stiff," Tomlinson told WDIV in Detroit. "There wasn't jerking or moans or groans, or cries for help, she just fell asleep."
Instead of calling the police, going to a hospital, or in some way informing authorities of his girlfriend's death, Tomlinson went online, finding out that he had 48 hours to report the death. So... he drove on.
"I can just take her to the Macomb County Morgue, that was my plan," he admitted. Macomb County is north of Detroit.
Stranger than driving for so long with a corpse in the passenger seat next to him? Tomlinson's 93-year-old mother was also traveling in the van with them.
Tomlinson picked up his girlfriend at a mental health facility in Phoenix. They were driving through the American Southwest when he noticed she was moving. And so he nudged her and found she had died.
Police believe the woman overdosed on oxycodone.
At one point, Tomlinson answered his girlfriend's cell phone. It was the mental health facility checking up on her. Tomlinson informed them she was dead.
They told him to call the police. He refused. The mental health facility called Michigan police.
"I just drove and drove, and I knew I'd be in some kind of trouble," he said.
Police met him in Warren, Michigan. The body was taken to the Macomb County Morgue -- exactly where Tomlinson had planned to take her.
Still, no foul play is suspected. Police are awaiting the results of a toxicology test.
Although individuals driving with corpses are very rare, living with the dead is not.
In January, a Buenos Aires man was found dead in his home after neighbors complained of the odor emanating from his apartment. But what surprised first responders most was finding the dessicated corpse of the man's mother seated at the kitchen table. The man's mother had been dead for a decade.
But a more weird story comes from Tomlinson's back yard, figuratively speaking. In 2012, a Jackson, Mich., woman lived with the dead corpse of her partner of ten years for 18 months, authorities said. She told them that he didn't stink and she wanted someone to watch NASCAR races with her. Police discovered the body after family members of the man became worried after not hearing from him for some time.