A body was found in a car being towed away from a crash scene in North Carolina. Police discovered the body of Carolyn Ann Watkins inside her crashed 2000 Pontiac three days after the accident was first reported.
Watkins, 62, had been reported missing by her son on Monday after she didn't show up to work, the Associated Press reports. Watkins’ car was in an accident on Friday, and police officers found the vehicle in a ditch in Smithfield, a town in Johnson County, about 30 miles from the state capitol of Raleigh.
An accident report filed by state Highway Patrol Trooper Marlon Williams had indicated that the driver of the vehicle, Watkins, wasn't found at the crash scene. Watkins was last seen alive on Thursday, and police are unsure of her time of death, AP notes.
Her son, Al Parker, thought his mother was with friends over the weekend, the Raleigh News & Observer notes.
Parker said he believes that if Williams had noticed a body inside the vehicle, it may have saved his mother’s life. “I'm thinking she could still have been alive,” Parker said, wondering how Williams didn't see a body inside the car.
A towing company moved the vehicle on Monday to a nearby lot for storage, AP notes. Watkins’ body was discovered inside the car that evening by a Smithfield police officer searching for clues to her disappearance.
Williams has been placed on paid administrative duty, pending the outcome of an internal investigation, AP notes.
The police haven't provided additional information on the case. In a statement, Public Safety Commissioner Frank Perry said, “At this early stage, our main concern is to conduct a thorough and professional investigation so we can determine exactly what happened.”
Watkins’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, the News & Observer reports.