A former real estate agent drove with the partially mummified body of a homeless woman in the passenger seat of her car for between three and 10 months, according to a report.
The grim discovery was made after the car was left partially blocking a driveway in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Monday and the police were called, the Orange County Register reported.
When the officers arrived, they noticed a foul smell coming from inside the vehicle, a 1997 Mercury Marquis, and then saw a leg poking out from a pile of clothes used to conceal the body.
They smashed a window and found the body, along with a box of baking soda which had been used to reduce the odor.
“This person was somewhat used to the smell,” Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Ed Everett said.
The 57-year-old former real estate agent said she had been too afraid to call the police after she found the body of the woman, the Register reported.
The driver was in financial difficulties and had been staying at a friend’s house, police said. Officers declined to identify her.
The body of the woman, who is believed to have been between 50 and 60 when she died, had been reduced to about 30 pounds when it was found, with the lack of air and weather conditions at the time helping to preserve it.