It's still six more days until Halloween and anything can happen, but as it stands right now the case of the mummy found in a car blocking a Costa Mesa driveway is the leading contender for the spookiest of the season. And now the main missing piece of the mystery has been solved with police revealing the name of the deceased.
She was Signe Margit, a 59-year-old Laguna Hills resident whose family reported her missing after she stopped contacting them in December 2009.
Margit recently befriended a 57-year-old former real estate agent who at one time lived in Corona del Mar. Costa Mesa Police have declined to identify the woman other than to say she allowed Margit to live in her 1997 Mercury Marquis.
At some point, Margit expired and the driver freaked. Fearful she might get in trouble with the law, the woman kept Margit's body in the pasenger seat of the Marquis, wrapped in clothing, and kept driving around with her.
For three to 10 months, according to police estimates.
To put up with the stench, the driver kept an open box of baking soda in the car. Wonder if Arm & Hammer will consider that for its next marketing campaign?
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This went on until around 4:40 p.m. Oct. 18, when police officers responded to a call of the Marquis illegally blocking a driveway in the 2000 block of Tustin Avenue.
An officer approached the car, immediately caught a whiff of the death stink and looked inside the windows to see what appeared to be a leg sticking out of clothing in the front passenger area. No one answered knocks on the window and there was no owner around, so a window was busted open and a person in a mummified state was found inside. She was remarkably well preserved.
The Marquis was traced to the former Corona del Mar woman's sick father. When officers finally interviewed the driver, she explained that she had befriended a homeless woman she only knew as Signe, took pity on her and allowed her to call the car home.
Costa Mesa Police are now reaching out to the public to try to fill in the gaps between Margit's last contact with her family and her meeting up with the Marquis owner. If you have any information that can help in the investigation, call Detective Mike Cohen at 714.754.5178 or Sergeant Ed Everett at 714.754.5395.