A body discovered inside a freezer in a California home this past December has been identified as an 81-year-old woman believed to either be missing or dead for up to nine years.
San Diego police identified the woman as Mary Margaret Haxby-Jones, an 81-year-old who at one point lived in the Allied Gardens, San Diego home where her remains were found, investigators said.
Haxby-Jones, who worked as a nurse anesthetist for two decades “may have been missing or dead for up to nine years,” authorities said.
“A lot of this investigation is trying to learn what we can about her,” Lt. Jud Campbell told the Los Angeles Times. “There’s a lot of gaps we’re still trying to fill in.”
Authorities were called to the Zion Avenue home on Dec. 22 after an out-of-town relative to the person currently living in the home discovered a dead body inside a chest freezer, according to a press release.
The individual, who is not related to Haxby-Jones, immediately called the police, who arrived at about 11:45 a.m. that day.
San Diego Police Department’s Homicide United is investigating the incident due to the unusual location of the body.
Haxby-Jones’ cause of death has not been determined, and while authorities said there was “no obvious traumatic injury to the body” the case remains under investigation as a suspicious death.
There have been no arrests and no welfare check had ever been called on Haxby-Jones, according to Campbell.
A relative of Haxby-Jones who asked not to be named told the Times the woman’s family was “estranged.”
“It’s all under investigation, and it’s kind of saddening about how everything is happening,” the relative added. “We’re trying to not make a comment at this time, because we weren’t there, we don’t know, we can’t answer these questions.”
The relative, who had not seen Haxby-Jones since 1995, remembered her as someone who smiled often, loved to get her hair and nails done and was a military veteran.
It’s still unclear when Haxby-Jones may have died, and authorities are asking anyone who may have known her or have relevant information about her to come forward.