Police Seek North Carolina Woman Who Allegedly Sold a Freezer with Her Mother's Body Inside
Marcella Jean Lee is facing a single count for failing to report the death of her 75-year-old mother, Arma Ann Roush
North Carolina police are seeking a 56-year-old woman who, they claim, last month sold a used deep freezer for $30, with her mother’s lifeless body inside, PEOPLE confirms.
According to a police statement obtained by PEOPLE, an arrest warrant has been issued for Marcella Jean Lee of Goldsboro.
Lee is charged with one count for failing to report the death of her 75-year-old mother, Arma Ann Roush. Additional charges will likely be filed in the case as detectives continue their investigation, police said.
Police believe Lee moved from the Goldsboro area soon after selling the deep freezer. Roush lived with her daughter and had not been seen by neighbors since last summer, police said.
Roush’s body was discovered on May 27 by the freezer’s new owner, who told detectives she bought the freezer from Lee, her neighbor, who said she was moving to Virginia.
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Prior to the transaction, Lee allegedly told the woman she’d promised to loan the unit to her church for an upcoming event.
Lee allegedly told the buyer that members of the church would soon swing by to retrieve the freezer, which had been secured with duct tape, according to police. When the church members failed to show after three weeks, the woman told police she decided to crack open her new freezer. Inside, she found Roush’s body wrapped in a sheet.
An autopsy on Roush’s remains showed no signs of foul play, but police are still awaiting the medical examiner’s findings in determining Roush’s cause of death.
Detectives ask that anyone with information about Roush’s death or Lee’s whereabouts call them at 919-735-2255 or send a text to 919-222-4230. Callers can remain anonymous.