ELOY, Ariz. - Police are investigating after they found a woman's body in the front seat a 70-year-old man's car. Authorities say an officer stopped Rodney Puckett along Interstate 10 in Arizona on Monday. While the officer was talking to Puckett, he noticed the woman's naked body in the passenger seat.
Puckett, who is from Oklahoma, was arrested after stopping for food in Eloy, in a case that's even surprised police. "I've been in law enforcement and with the Eloy police department for 17 years and this is the most bizarre case I have ever seen in Eloy," Sgt. Kristie Barnette told KNXV.
- HAVE YOU SEEN HER? Police searching for owner of car involved in deadly Penn Hills hit-and-run
- Dozens of businesses impacted by 2 water main breaks just blocks apart
- Woman sentenced to 9½ to 19 years in toddler's death
- VIDEO: Woman sentenced to 9½ to 19 years in toddler's death
- DOWNLOAD the Channel 11 News app for breaking news alerts
Eloy police said an officer pulled over Puckett's vehicle and found his wife, Linda Puckett, naked, dead and upside down in the passenger seat. Puckett allegedly told police she died at a hotel in El Paso while headed to California.
"He tried to wake her up, couldn't wake her up, he loaded her on a luggage cart and proceeded to place her in his vehicle," said Barnette.
El Paso and Eloy police are investigating the death, but online records show the woman got a protective order in February and it appears the couple were in the middle of a divorce.
Maria Davis works at the Carl's Jr. just feet away from the traffic stop. She said Puckett first came through the drive-thru and ordered food in only his underwear. "He was normal, really normal about it. He was calm, ordered his food," said Davis. "That's when I seen the lady in there, she was completely naked, the way she was face down laying down, I seen the color of her feet were like purple."
Davis says an Eloy police officer happened to walk into the restaurant and was given a heads up. Puckett was pulled over after leaving the drive-thru. "Scared. I was shaking, my heart was pounding super fast, like shaking about it," said Davis.
Puckett was arrested for abandonment or concealment of a body. Police say additional charges may be filed later.