Police puzzled why body hauled 1,000 miles in suitcase

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 9, 2017 at 6:04 p.m.


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DES ARC, Ark. (AP) — Police in two states say they are trying to figure out why a woman hauled an elderly man's body in a suitcase more than 1,000 miles from upstate New York to Arkansas and then dumped it in a rice field.

Virginia Colvin, 56, faces a preliminary charge of abuse of a corpse.

Investigators say they are still seeking a motive.

Police say the body found Sunday at a farm 50 miles northeast of Little Rock appears to be that of a man who died in Johnstown, New York. The body has been sent to an Arkansas crime lab to be identified and to pinpoint how he died.

"At this point in time, we believe that he died of natural causes," Johnstown Police Lt. Dave Gilbo told News 10 ABC in Albany, New York. "We just can't determine why the body was transported from here to Arkansas."

Arkansas State Police say Colvin was arrested in Arkansas on Wednesday night in connection with the case. State police say she is being held in the Prairie County jail.

State police say a man who is jailed in Arkansas on an unrelated charge is also being questioned.

Gilbo suggested the criminal investigation is focused on what happened after the man died and whether the man or the federal government was the victims of fraud. He told the TV station that there have been cases in Fulton County, New York of people trying to collect the Social Security checks of the deceased.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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