How to Drive a Corpse Cross-Country

On May 31, 2014, 62 year old Ray Tomlinson drove from his home in Michigan to pick up his 31 year old girlfriend from a mental health facility in Glendale, Arizona, where she had been residing. On June 1st, the woman asked to stop at a gas station in Flagstaff, AZ, where it is believed she ingested a deadly amount of oxycodone. Almost immediately after returning to the van, the woman died of an overdose. Ray made a stop in New Mexico and Oklahoma, asking the woman if she would like to get out of the van. After failing to respond both times, he touched the woman and realized she was deceased. Instead of taking the route most would in this situation, Ray decided to use his cell phone to Google what he should do with her dead body. He knew if he reported her death, he would have to give up the van, and since the website he visited stated he had 48 hours before he needed to present the body to a medical examiner, Mr. Tomlinson decided to complete his voyage. He propped the woman up in the passenger seat, made sure she was wearing her seatbelt (because even in death: Click It or Ticket), put a pair of sunglasses on her, and placed a stuffed animal in her lap for reasons unknown. While still in Oklahoma, Ray Tomlinson received a call from the mental health facility in Arizona where the now deceased woman had been staying, imploring him to place her in a similar institute in Michigan upon their return. He informed them at that time of her passing, and the staff of the Arizona facility contacted police. Police called Ray while still on his gruesome road trip, and requested he drive to the nearest emergency room to turn over the body. Ray, however, insisted he finish his journey to his son’s home in Warren, Michigan. When Tomlinson finally arrived on June 2nd at 7pm, police were waiting for him at his son’s home to collect the body. It was discovered his 92 year old mother had been in a wheelchair in the back of the van for the entirety of the trip. Unfortunately, the van’s air conditioning failed shortly after beginning the return trip to Michigan, and after discovering his girlfriend was deceased, Tomlinson did not allow his mother to leave the van to use the restroom for the remaining 26 hours of the trip. One of Mr. Tomlinson’s son’s neighbors, who wished to remain anonymous stated, “As soon as the police opened the door [of the van], thank god there was a breeze going because you would just get a whiff of it once in a while.” Ray Tomlinson is not in police custody, and while the case is still under review, no charges have been filed at this time.

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