Tuesday 6 December 2016

US woman arrested after 'selling freezer containing mother's body at yard sale'

Published 19/09/2016 | 08:58

Marcella Jean Lee (56) was charged with concealing and failure to report a death
Marcella Jean Lee (56) was charged with concealing and failure to report a death

A woman has been arrested in North Carolina after her mother's body was discovered in a freezer she sold at a yard sale.

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Marcella Jean Lee (56) was charged on Thursday with concealing and failure to report a death, more than three months after selling the chest freezer to her neighbour for $30.

Ms Lee had told her neighbour not to open the appliance when she sold it to her in May, saying it was being used as a time capsule and that church members would come by at some point to collect the contents inside.

However, the neighbour opened it up later to find the body of Arma Roush, the 75-year-old mother of Ms Lee, whom police had been looking for since the discovery.

She was detained on Thursday about 100 miles south of the city of Goldsboro, where her mother's remains were found.

Lee is now being held at New Hanover county jail under a $50,000 bond, Fox 8 reported.

A post mortem examination showed no signs of foul play regarding Ms Roush's death. The pensioner had been living with her daughter and was last seen alive in August 2015.

In a 911 call, obtained by WNCN at the time of the discovery, the neighbour said: "I have a serious problem. My neighbour sold me a deep freezer. I just opened it and there's a body in there. I am freaking out."

She later told the TV station:  "She sold me her frozen mother for $30. How do you do something like that?"

The woman said that the day after she bought the freezer, Ms Lee had left town claiming she was heading to West Virginia to be with her mother, who was now staying at a nursing home.

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