A 70-year-old Oklahoma man has been arrested after he allegedly drove across three states with his dead wife’s corpse sitting in the passenger seat.
A police officer who pulled over Rodney Puckett on Interstate 10 in Eloy, Arizona, on Monday was talking to the elderly man during the traffic stop when he noticed that a dead woman was sitting next to him.
The deceased was identified as Rodney’s 74-year-old estranged wife Linda Puckett.
Rodney told police that the couple were on a road trip when Linda died at a hotel in Texas, so he moved her body into the car and continued toward their destination, which was not disclosed.
The Eloy Police Department and Texas authorities have teamed up to determine whether Linda was the victim of a homicide.
Her body was turned over to the Pinal County Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.
Rodney is currently being held at Penal County Jail on a charge of abandonment or concealment of a body.
The investigation is ongoing and police say additional charges against the man from Sand Springs, Oklahoma, may be filed at a later date.
Rodney and Linda had been married since 2011 and were in the middle of a divorce.
Linda filed for divorce and sought a protective order against her husband earlier this year. The order was granted on February 6 and continued on Monday, according to court records obtained by ABC15.
According to the Arizona outlet, Rodney was reported missing in April and a Silver Alert was issued, stating that he had bipolar disorder.
The alert was canceled when authorities learned that he hadn’t been heard from because he was in a Kansas jail for eluding police.