BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities are trying to identify a mummified body found by police in the bathtub of a northwestern Arizona home as they investigated a burglary.
Bullhead City police said officers responding to a burglary in progress around 3:30 a.m. Saturday discovered 65-year-old Christine Lee Walters rummaging through items inside the house.
They said there were pry marks on the door, indicating forced entry into the home, and that Walters had been going inside for days and taking clothing, purses and other items she allegedly planned to sell online.
Police said officers searched the house and found the body in the tub in a natural mummified state, which occurs when a corpse is exposed to very dry conditions that slow typical decomposition.
Police said Walters told officers she didn’t know the body was in the house.
It’s unknown how long the body was in the bathtub. Neighbors told police they believed that the house was vacant and that the homeowner may have moved away because they hadn’t been seen for about a year.
The Mohave County Medical Examiner’s Office was trying to determine the cause of death.
Detectives found the homeowner’s birth certificate, credit cards, driver’s license and income tax paperwork during searches of Walters’ home and vehicle. She was booked into jail on suspicion of two counts of burglary. Police said they are seeking additional charges after methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found in her possession.
It was unclear Thursday if Walters has a lawyer who can speak on her behalf.