PORT HURON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 49-year-old Oregon woman who is believed to have dumped the body of an elderly woman behind a Michigan thrift store has been arrested in Illinois, authorities said.
The woman from Salem, Ore., was held after being found in Belleville, Ill., the St. Clair County sheriff’s department in Michigan said in a statement Thursday. Her name wasn’t immediately released and she was jailed in Illinois pending further court action.
“Citizens’ tips... led to authorities being able to locate the suspect,” the department said.
The body of a roughly 80-year-old woman was found March 12. It was hidden for more than a week under snow and blankets behind the store the Goodwill store in Port Huron Township, about 55 miles northeast of Detroit, the sheriff’s department said.
Investigators have been seeking the public’s help in identifying the dead woman since earlier this month. The cause of her death hasn’t been determined.
The body was found by a worker who was cleaning the area, the department said. Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the store and determined the woman’s body had been outside since at least March 3, but was covered by snow and blankets.
The sheriff’s department has described the woman as white, about 80 years old, about 5 feet tall and weighing about 100 to 110 pounds. She had gray, shoulder-length hair, dark eyes, had a mastectomy and had two surgical scars on her stomach.
The woman was wearing a skirt and blouse that was white, black and red, the department said.