Details Emerge on Mummified Body Found in Car

A woman reportedly drove her car for months with a mummified body in the passenger seat

By Scott Weber
|  Thursday, Oct 28, 2010  |  Updated 12:26 PM PDT
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Details Emerge on Mummified Body Found in Car

Costa Mesa PD

Signe Margit

More details have emerged about the body of a woman who was found mummified in the passenger seat of a real-estate agent's car nearly a year after she died.

Police found the body of 59-year-old Signe Margit of Laguna Hills in a 1997 Mercury Marquis last week after responding to a report that the vehicle was parked illegally. Police say they found the body hidden under some clothing in the passenger seat of the car in an advanced state of decomposition. The woman may have died  up to 10 months earlier.

Margit's background remained a mystery until authorities were able to contact her family. Police have now learned she was a highly educated woman who held two master's degrees and had been working with special education students for LAUSD, according to the Los Angeles Times. She had fallen on hard times and become homeless.

Margit befriended a 57-year-old former real estate agent after meeting at Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley. The two agreed Margit could sleep in the former agent's car in December. The driver was in financial difficulties and had been staying at a friend's house, police said. Officers declined to identify her.

When Police found Margit's body, it had been reduced to about 30 pounds, with the lack of air and weather conditions at the time helping to preserve it.

The driver said she had been too afraid to call the police after she found the body and continued to drive the with it inside.

"This person was somewhat used to the smell," Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Ed Everett said.

No cause of death has been released. Police are awaiting toxicology tests from the coroner, which could take weeks.

No charges have been filed in the case.

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