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70-year-old put dead wife in passenger seat and drove her across Arizona, cops say

Rodney Puckett
Rodney Puckett Pinal County Sheriff's Department

An Arizona police officer who pulled over an Oklahoma man driving on Interstate 10 got more than he bargained for when he spotted the man’s dead wife in the passenger seat, police say.

Rodney Puckett, 70, told the officer that his wife, Linda Puckett, 74, had died at a Texas hotel earlier in their trip, Eloy police wrote in a release. He told police that he put her body in the passenger seat to continue on to their destination, officers wrote.

The couple, married in 2011, had been in the process of divorcing, KNXV reported.

The Sand Springs, Oklahoma, residents had been granted protective orders against each other in January and February, and Linda Puckett filed for divorce Feb. 8, The Tulsa World reported.

Eloy police arrested Rodney Puckett on suspicion of abandonment or concealment of a body, police wrote. Detectives are working with Texas authorities to investigate Linda Puckett’s death.

Eloy is located between Phoenix and Tucson in south-central Arizona.

In March, officials at the Canadian border discovered an 87-year-old man’s family had driven home to Canada from a Florida vacation with his body in the back seat to avoid U.S. health-care costs and red tape, CTV News reported.

Do you know what to do if you accidentally dial 911? Do you know what information is crucial in an emergency? Here's what you need to know in North Texas to get the police, fire or ambulance service you need fast.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.


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