Riverside

Body of 87-Year-Old Woman Found in Freezer at Riverside Home, Autopsy Pending

Family members from out of state had called police to report they hadn't heard from the woman in a couple of months. 

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An autopsy was pending Monday on the body of an 87-year-old woman found in a freezer in the garage of her Riverside home. 

The body of Miriam Travis was discovered when officers went to the residence in the 6000 block of New Ridge Drive about 9:35 a.m. Sunday to conduct a welfare check on the woman, who lived there with a daughter, said Riverside Police Officer Javier Cabrera.

"It's a tragedy as you can imagine. I don't think any of us can imagine having our mom in a freezer right?” Randy Hayes, a neighbor who has lived next to the woman for almost 30 years, said.

Travis was a retired homicide detective sergeant with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

"Very nice lady, they kept to themselves, we watched over our place and they watched over ours when we were on vacations and stuff," Hayes said. "I've never heard problems coming from the house.. never heard arguments of that sort."

Riverside police detectives say the investigation began when family members from out of state hadn't heard from Travis for two months.

Officers interviewed the woman's daughter, and noted some inconsistencies in her statements, Cabrera said. They subsequently found the body in a freezer in the garage of the residence, Cabrera said. 

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"I asked the daughter she came out she was real secretive and she was hiding behind the car and I says 'Carol where's Miriam? you tell her I said hello,' she says 'oh she in the house' oh ok," Cedric Valentin, a neighbor, said.

"There were some inconsistencies with her story to her mom's whereabouts the officers detained the daughter."

Investigators say they found the home filled with trash, describing it as a hoarding situation.

A short time later they found Travis inside a garage freezer.

The daughter was questioned and then released pending the results of an autopsy.

 "It's very important what happened how this woman died," Cabrera said.

Investigators say until they get the findings of the autopsy, they won't know what charges could be filed in the case.

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