Mystery Shopper's Death Is a Mystery

Police have no leads in Marjorie Hillerman case
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2014 5:05 PM CST
Mystery Shopper's Death Is a Mystery

Mystery is swirling around the death of a mystery shopper earlier this month in the San Francisco Bay area. Marjorie Hillerman, 61, of Mesa, Ariz., was "one of the best in the business," as NBC Bay Area puts it, that business being mystery shopping; some colleagues called her the "Master of Disguise," the San Jose Mercury News reports. On Dec. 9, she was supposed to work at the Livermore Premium Outlets—she traveled across the country for her job—but police say she may never have made it inside. She was found in the parking lot in broad daylight with traumatic injuries to the back of her head and her face, and a week later, she died of those injuries. Baffled police are asking the public for any information.

There were no witnesses and there is no surveillance footage; it's not clear whether Hillerman was assaulted or fell, but there were no signs of robbery. One of the only clues: A four-door sedan was spotted leaving the area at the time of the attack. The Independent Mystery Shoppers Coalition (Hillerman was a member and would often speak at conferences) issued a safety warning following the incident, and some of her friends and colleagues think foul play was involved. "We don't believe she just fell. She wasn't that type of person. She was just too on top of things," says the president. A GoFundMe account aims to help Hillerman's husband with the cost of returning her remains to Arizona. (Another mystery in Pittsburgh: A hospital recently saw its second death from cyanide poisoning.)

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