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Woman Drove Around With Corpse as Passenger for Months

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A 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis, the same kind of vehicle that contained the corpse

A 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis, the same kind of vehicle that contained the corpse
A Costa Mesa woman who had been living in her car turns out to have been sharing her cramped living quarters with a mummified corpse for several months, according to the OC Register.The woman, whose identity has not been released by the Costa Mesa Police, said she had been afraid to report the body to the authorities, and instead continued to use the vehicle with the corpse resting in the front passenger seat, fully clothed.

"The lack of air inside the vehicle, and weather conditions at the time of death, are believed to have contributed to partial preservation of the body," however the body weighed just about 30 pounds when it was removed yesterday by authorities.

The woman claims that she had grown accustomed to the smell, and it appears she used baking soda to mask the odor. It was the smell, however, that led a Costa Mesa resident to call police about the vehicle and its contents.

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According to the car's driver, who authorities describe only as "a 57-year-old former real estate agent who at one time lived in a home in Corona del Mar," the corpse is that of a transient who went by the name Signe. She may have last been seen alive as far back as December 2009. Tests on the body will determine the time and cause of death, as well as confirm her identity.