Body left in back of hearse for 9 days

Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:53 PM
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RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A North Carolina mortuary allegedly left the body of a dead woman in the back of its hearse for more than a week, authorities said.

Police in Graham, N.C., were called to investigate a foul order and traced it to a hearse owned by David B. Lawson Mortuary, the undertaker that picked up Linda Walton's body nine days before, The Raleigh News & Observer reported Wednesday.

Investigators say Walton's body was picked up from an apartment in Carrboro on Aug. 5 and driven to the mortuary in Graham.

Lawson's was called to pick up the body after investigators couldn't find Walton's next of kin, Capt. Joel Booker of the Carrboro police department said.

"What the investigators told me is Lawson's said, 'Not a problem. We'll put her in deep-freeze,'" Booker said. "So off they go, and that's the last we know of it until we heard from Graham police last week."

The discovery of the body has initiated an inquiry by the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service, responsible for the administration and regulation of the profession in the state, the News & Observer said.

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