Miriam Travis, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department homicide detective, retired from the force more than 30 years ago. Authorities are now trying to determine how much of that time she spent dead in a freezer. The 87-year-old's body was found Sunday in the garage of the Riverside home she shared with her daughter, the Press-Enterprise reports. Police say they were contacted by a relative who asked them to check on Travis and they searched the home after the daughter gave them inconsistent answers. Officer Javier Cabrera says the home was in a "disheveled" state with hoarding-like conditions.
The 64-year-old daughter was questioned and released. Cabrera describes her a "person of interest" in the case, reports USA Today. He says it's possible charges could be filed after an autopsy determines the cause of death. Neighbors describe Travis and her daughter as extremely reclusive. They say they hadn't seen Travis in months. "Shocking. Very shocking. Especially because she’s little old sweet Miriam," says longtime neighbor Randy Hayes. A relative tells the Press-Enterprise that Travis changed the locks on her home and cut off contact with most relatives after her husband died in 1992.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says Travis retired in 1990 after 27 years with the department, KTLA reports. She spent the last 11 years of her career as a detective sergeant with the homicide bureau. "Our hearts are broken by this news and the entire LASD family mourns her loss,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement. (Read more Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department stories.)