AZ man drives to Michigan with corpse riding shotgun

GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -Michigan investigators are looking into a bizarre cross-country trip.

They said 62-year-old Ray Tomlinson drove most of the way from Glendale to Warren, MI, with his dead 31-year-old girlfriend in the front passenger seat.

The unidentified woman voluntarily checked herself out of the Aurora Behavior Health Care facility in Glendale on May 28. Police say Tomlinson, his girlfriend and his 92-year-old mother left on June 1.

Investigators in Warren, Michigan say the trio stopped at a gas station in Flagstaff, where the 31-year-old used the restroom. It's there police believe she overdosed on prescription pain medicine, before returning to Tomlinson's van and continuing the drive.

Around 5 a.m. on June 2, Tomlinson told detectives he tried shaking his front seat passenger when she didn't respond to his questions. That's when she slumped forward and he realized she was dead.

"There are some indications there may have been some drug usage. She gets back in the van. (It) looks like she died quickly, almost immediately after they left the gas station," said Warren, Michigan Police Commissioner Jere Green.

"He (used his phone) looking for information on what to do with a deceased body. He wanted to get back to Michigan. He was convinced on what he read on that site he had 48 hours before she had to be attended in any way," he continued.


Police say at one point, a representative from Aurora Behavior Health called the 31-year-old's phone. Tomlinson picked up and said she had died. That's when that representative called police in Michigan.

"There is some contact back and forth with him. He decides to pull into his son's house... in Warren, (Michigan). They find his 92-year-old mother in a wheelchair in the back of the van and the deceased sitting in the passenger seat still with her seatbelt on and a pair of sunglasses," said Green.

No charges have been filed against Tomlinson, but the investigation is ongoing.


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