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Man drives dead girlfriend across country: Corpse wore seatbelt, sunglasses

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The man who drove his dead girlfriend across the country for 26 hours will not be facing any charges. After all, the man’s dead girlfriend was wearing her seatbelt while riding in the passenger seat during the 1,900-mile road trip across the country from Arizona to Michigan, reported WLWT5 on June 6.

As bizarre as 62-year-old Ray Tomlinson’s cross-country trip with his dead girlfriend, 31-year-old Christine Gilbert, sounds, by having had the corpse wear her seatbelt, he did not break any laws. It is not illegal to transport a dead body across the country. “There is no crime,” said Tomlinson. And police officers agree. According to Warren police Deputy Commissioner Louis Galasso, the strange cross country trip ”involved some ‘bizarre’ judgment and behavior, but wasn't criminal.”

Ray Tomlinson is from Detroit in Michigan and was on a road trip from Arizona to Michigan when his girlfriend Christine died. Christine had been in a mental health facility in the Phoenix area, and when she left there with Tomlinson on Sunday, she was alive.

On Monday, as the couple was driving through the southwest U.S., Tomlinson discovered that his girlfriend’s body was cold. While a toxicology test is still being performed, police suspect that Christine might have taken too much oxycodone. "I went like this, you know, nudged her, at this point in time she was stiff," said Tomlinson. "There wasn't jerking or moans or groans, or cries for help, she just fell asleep."

When Tomlinson discovered that his girlfriend had passed away while being on the road, he checked on what to do about a corpse on his cell phone. Of course, the answer was to take the dead body to a hospital or a morgue, but for Tomlinson the question was to which hospital or morgue.

Even though Tomlinson was in disbelief about his girlfriend’s death, he was determined to do the right thing – which was to get his mom home. “He said he had his 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound mother in the van and wanted to get her home.”

And so he did. For the next 1,900 miles and the next 26 hours, the man drove with his girlfriend and his mom back to Michigan. When someone from the mental health facility called to check on his girlfriend, Tomlinson told them that she was dead and that he was taking her to a hospital or a morgue.

When looking up on what to do with a corpse, he had learned that he had 48 hours to get a dead body to a morgue, so he just drove. "I can just take her to the Macomb County Morgue, that was my plan," he said. "I just drove and drove, and I knew I'd be in some kind of trouble," said Tomlinson.

Before he could get his girlfriend to the Macomb County Morgue, though, police had already been notified by Christine’s mental health care facility, and when he arrived at his son’s home in Warren in Michigan on Tuesday, he was met by police, reports ClickOn Detroit. When police checked the car, they found “the corpse in the front passenger seat wearing a seatbelt and sunglasses.”

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