The body of an 87-year-old retired cop has been found in a freezer at the California home she shared with her daughter, police say.
Police were asked to conduct a welfare check in Riverside by relatives who said they had not heard off the woman for two months.
The woman was named by relatives as Miriam Travis, a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective, the Press-Enterprise reports.
Her live-in daughter, named by neighbors only as Carol, was questioned by police about her mother’s death and the storing of the body, and was released, the newspaper said.
The Riverside County Coroner’s Office has yet to publicly announce that the dead woman was Travis as of Monday, a spokesman said.
However, deputy Maria Lucero, an LA County sheriff’s representative, said that Travis was a sergeant at the homicide bureau from 1979 until she retired in 1990.
After retiring, Travis moved to the Riverside home with her husband, but he died two years later and the mother and daughter became increasingly reclusive, the Press-Enterprise reports.
Miriam Travis, 87, was found dead in a freezer in the garage of her home on New Ridge Drive in Riverside, California, according to the Riverside Police Department said
Another relative asked for police to carry out a wellness check on Sunday morning after becoming concerned about not hearing from her, Riverside Police Officer Javier Cabrera said.
Cabrera said that Travis’ daughter provided inconsistent statements about her mother’s location to officers, leading them to search the ‘disheveled’ home.
Officers described the home as having a foul odor, with large piles of trash and hoarder-conditions.
Travis’ body was found inside a working freezer in her garage.
An autopsy has been planned to determine a cause of death.
Neighbor Randy Hayes, 63, said had been living next door to the women for 27 years and was shocked by the news.
‘Shocking. Very shocking. Especially because she’s little old sweet Miriam,’ Hayes told the Press-Enterprise.
A relative, Kerri Nickell of Oklahoma, told the newspaper she was Travis’ step-granddaughter.
She hailed Travis as a ‘great grandmother,’ who took her and her 11 cousins to Disneyland every year at Christmas.
But Nickell said Travis cut communication with extended family after her husband’s passing in 1992 and even changed the locks on her house.
‘It was like this is my grandmother one day, and then we never heard from her again,’ Nickell told Press-Enterprise.
She said Travis and her daughter became ‘kind of hermits.’
Miriam Travis and her daughter’s home (pictured) had drastically changed over the years, raising concerns from city code enforcement
A cousin would occasionally mail pictures of relatives on her side of the family to Travis, who never seemed to have responded.
Hayes said that despite their affiliation as neighbors, he didn’t know much about Travis and her daughter, sparking little to no interactions between the three of them.
‘I cannot overstate enough how reclusive they were,’ he said.
Hayes said he rarely saw vehicles of guests, whether friends or family, pull up to the in front of the house or on its driveway, except for deliveries by Home Depot.
Storage units scattered the backyard and changes to the house raised concerns from city code enforcement, he added.