Michigan Man Drove Home from Phoenix With Dead Girlfriend in Front Seat Wearing Sunglasses

Matt Vespa
By Matt Vespa | June 6, 2014 | 11:21 AM EDT

A Detroit-area man may have to answer a few questions from authorities, namely why did he drive over 1,000 miles with his dead girlfriend in the car?  In a situation that mirrors the death of Aunt Edna from National Lampoon’s Vacation, or Weekend at Bernie's; Ray Tomlinson said his girlfriend died on their drive back from Phoenix, Arizona, where she had just checked out of a mental health facility (via USA Today):

Detroit-area man said he refused to tell authorities that his girlfriend had died during a drive to Michigan from Phoenix in part because he feared being arrested.

Ray Tomlinson also told the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News that he kept driving after his 31-year-old girlfriend died because he had his elderly mother in the van and wanted to get her home. He said he wanted to get the body to a morgue in Michigan.

"I had a 92-year-old that does not travel very well," said Tomlinson, who has been caring for his mother for 10 years. "The priority was to get her home and in a safe place."


When officers arrived Tuesday at his son's home in Warren, just north of Detroit, Tomlinson was weeping on the curb and his mother was in her wheelchair in the back of the van. The corpse was in the front passenger seat wearing a seatbelt and sunglasses.

It’s been alleged that Tomlinson’s 31-year old girlfriend, who had a history of drug use, took oxycodone sometime during their 1,700-mile ride back to home; she died as a result.

Fearing that his car would be taken into police custody for an investigation, Tomlinson decided to hit the gas and try to make it home, and subsequently bring the body of his girlfriend to the morgue.

Tomlinson said that when he conducted an Internet search – God only knows what he typed for this inquiry – he discovered that he had 48 hours to get the body there.

When someone at the mental health facility called his deceased girlfriend’s cellphone, Tomlinson bluntly answered she couldn’t be reached because she was dead.

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