The body of a missing North Carolina woman was found inside her car three days after a police officer ordered it to be towed away from the crash scene, reports The Washington Post.According to a police report filed by Highway Patrol Trooper Marlon Williams, Carolyn Ann Watkins’s crashed 2000 Pontiac was found on the side of the road in a ditch near Smithfield, North Carolina on Friday morning. Both airbags were deployed and a note on the police report said that a driver was not present at the scene of the accident. Williams ordered a tow truck to move the car to a storage lot an that’s where it sat for the entire weekend.
Watkins was reported missing by her son, Al Parker, on Monday morning after she didn’t show up to work and an investigation into her disappearance was launched that same day. A Smithfield police officer came upon the Pontiac while searching for leads to her whereabouts when he found the 62-year-old woman’s dead body on the floor inside of the car. The body had been there for three days since the crash on Friday.
It’s not clear when exactly Watkins died, but her son thinks that her life may have been saved if the patrol officer noticed her in the car.
“I’m thinking she could still have been alive,” Parker said. “How do you not look in the car? When you pulled the car out, how do you not see a body in the car?”
As a result, Williams, a 9-year veteran of the Highway Patrol, was placed on paid administrative duty until an internal review is conducted to discover exactly what happened.