SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 23 (UPI) -- A man whose body was discovered decomposing in a Southern California parking lot last week was believed by his fiancee to be an alien from another world, who had arrived on Earth to save humanity, the woman's attorney said Wednesday.
It's the latest detail in a bizarre death investigation that involves a theory of extraterrestrial intelligence, intrigue -- and a newly found arsenal of guns and ammo inside the man's home, KTLA-TV reported Wednesday.
The ordeal started July 4, while Jeffrey Lash and his fiancee of 17 years, Catherine Nebron, were at a Santa Monica grocery store. According to Nebron's attorney, Harlan Braun, Lash suddenly fell ill and suffered a seizure.
Nebron and her employee, Dawn VadBunker, attempted to render aid.
"They worked on him for three hours, trying to revive him and then he died," Braun said, also noting that Lash had battled cancer for more than a year.
Once it was known the man was dead, though, Braun said Nebron placed the body into her vehicle in the store's parking lot and departed with VadBunker for Oregon. Lash's body sat in the SUV and decomposed in the hot Southern California sun for nearly two weeks.
According to VadBunker's mother, Laura, neither woman reported the death to authorities because they believed Lash was a half human-half alien being from another world who had come to Earth to save humanity. They also reportedly believed he'd been working secretly with the U.S. government, and that federal agents would soon come by to collect the body.
Apparently, the women didn't disclose their travel plans to anyone, either. Two days later, on July 6, VadBunker's family reported her missing to police.
For her daughter's part, Laura VadBunker is afraid she may have suffered a mental breakdown.
"I can't believe this," she told KTLA-TV. "It's worse than a Twilight Zone movie, and we have lived through hell."
"It was craziness, it was nuts," Braun added.
Upon returning to Southern California -- and discovering that no government agency had come for her fiancé's remains -- Braun said Nebron finally notified police.
"When she came back, she was shocked that the agencies hadn't picked him up," he said. "So then she decided she had better call police."
However, at that point the ordeal took yet another bizarre turn.
Investigators were shocked themselves when they showed up this week at the couple's condo -- and found more than 1,200 firearms, 6 tons of ammunition, and $230,000 -- entirely in cash.
The Los Angeles Police Department is trying to sort out the case -- but it's not yet known exactly why Lash died, why he had so many firearms, or how he amassed all that money.
"It does not make any sense, but it's probably a continuation of this fantasy world where he is a secret man which he is supposed to not reveal who he really is," Braun said. "The whole issue for the police and me actually is, is it a murder or is it a natural death?"