An 87-year-old former homicide detective was found stuffed in a freezer at her California home.
A relative of Miriam Travis called police on Sunday, September 19, asking them to check on the woman.
Officers went to the home in Riverside County at about 9:35am and questioned her daughter Carol who lived with her, the Press-Enterprise reports.
According to Riverside Police spokesperson, Javier Cabrera, Carol’s statements on her mother’s whereabouts were inconsistent.
The cops proceeded to search the house, which Cabrera described as “dishevelled” with hoarding-like conditions and rubbish piled high.
There was a foul odour and officers eventually discovered the 87-year-old’s body in a working freezer in the garage.
Her body had not decomposed, and an autopsy is planned.
Carol was questioned and released while detectives attempt to learn how her mother died and what role, if any, she played in either her death or the handling of her body.
Travis was a sergeant at the LA County sheriff’s homicide bureau from 1979 until she retired in 1990, which is when she moved into her home in Riverside County with her husband.
Travis’s step-granddaughter, Kerri Nickell, from Oklahoma, described the octogenarian as a “great grandmother” who would take all 12 grandkids to Disneyland every Christmas.
However, that all changed when her husband died in 1992 and suddenly Travis changed the locks to her house and cut off contact with her extended family.
“It was like this is my grandmother one day, and then we never heard from her again,” said Nickell, who described Travis and her daughter as “kind of hermits”.
This view is echoed by the victim’s neighbours too, with one saying he had not seen her since November.
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Randy Hayes, 63, who has lived next door to Travis for 27 years, described the mother and daughter as “reclusive” and said he knew very little about them.
He would have brief conversations with Travis over the years, which became less and less frequent.
He claims that whenever Travis would leave the house, she would either work in her front garden, or would get in her car and leave.
According to Hayes, his neighbour appeared to be in failing health, being stooped and moving slower and slower.
The 63-year-old was horrified when he heard the tragic news and said: “Shocking. Very shocking. Especially because she’s little old sweet Miriam.”
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