Warren police said they will not pursue criminal charges against a Clinton Township man who drove from Arizona to Michigan with a dead passenger in his van.
After investigating, “we are satisfied that there have been no elements that would equate to any type of crime that was committed,”said Warren Police Deputy Commissioner Louis Galasso on Thursday. “What he did was very unorthodox, without a question, but as far as a crime, there simply was not one. ... At this juncture we are closing our case.”
Ray Tomlinson, 62, didn’t halt his road trip home with his 92-year-old mother after he found his 31-year-old girlfriend dead in the passenger seat. She is believed to have died from an overdose early in the 27-hour journey, police said. He told authorities he didn’t want to report the death during the trek home out of fear he’d face jail, leaving his mother without help.
On Sunday, the younger woman, believed to be from Roseville, joined Tomlinson and his mother for their return trip to Michigan after checking herself out of a mental health facility.
Tomlinson said that while he drove his 2004 Ford in the dark, the woman fell asleep and never woke up. He checked on her during a stop at the Arizona border and found her cold to the touch and unresponsive.
After an online search convinced him he had 48 hours to take the deceased to either a medical examiner’s office or a morgue, Tomlinson decided to continue the drive back to Michigan.
“I had a 92-year-old that does not travel very well,” Tomlinson told The Detroit News on Wednesday. “The priority was to get her home and in a safe place.”
During the ride, the health care facility in Arizona called to urge the woman to follow up with therapy. Tomlinson told them she was dead; the facility called police.
Tomlinson, who updated officers on his plans, drove to his son’s house in Warren, where the body was retrieved.
A Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy Tuesday but did not determine a cause of death. Toxicology reports were pending.
Meanwhile, Tomlinson said he faces a hearing June 26 in Macomb County Probate Court on his mother’s care.