Investigators in North Carolina are scratching their heads this week after a Goldsboro woman reported finding the remains of an elderly woman in a deep freezer she’d purchased a month ago at a neighbor’s yard sale, PEOPLE confirms.
According to a statement from the Goldsboro Police Department, the dead body was discovered on May 27 by the freezer’s new owner.
Police have yet to reveal the deceased woman’s identity, but an autopsy on the remains reveals she died from natural causes.
Police received a call last week from a woman who told them she’d purchased the freezer more than three weeks ago for a steal – just $30, law enforcement officials tell PEOPLE.
The woman told detectives she bought the freezer from her neighbor, who has since moved to Virginia. Prior to the transaction, the freezer’s seller told the woman she’d promised to loan the unit to her church for an upcoming event.
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The seller told the buyer members of the church would soon swing by to retrieve the freezer, which had been secured with duct tape, police claim.
But when the church members failed to show after three weeks, the woman told police she decided to crack open her newly acquired freezer. Inside, she found the woman’s body wrapped in a sheet.
Police confirm the freezer was sold by a woman who lived with her elderly mother. Neighbors told investigators they hadn’t seen the older woman since last September.
According to the medical examiner, the body showed no signs of foul play, but police are investigating how the woman’s remains ended up in the freezer.
A police spokesman tells PEOPLE the freezer’s previous owner could face charges including abuse of a corpse or concealing the death of a person.
It is unclear whether detectives have yet interviewed the woman who sold the freezer.