Roseville, MI – Police arrested a 19-year-old transient man after finding a 62-year-old woman’s body in the bed of a pickup truck as they were investigating a minor crash late last week.
Police said the suspect, Stephen Freeman, was driving a blue pickup truck near the intersection of Hayes Road and Common Road shortly before 2 p.m. on Oct. 27 when he collided with a semi-truck, WDIV reported.
Freeman allegedly fled the scene on foot prior to officers’ arrival.
Officers arrived at the scene and quickly spotted the body of 62-year-old Gabriele Seitz lying in the bed of the abandoned blue pickup, WDIV reported.
She had a shoelace wrapped around her neck, according to court documents.
The medical examiner is still working to determine Seitz’s exact cause of death, but police said they are operating under the assumption she was murdered, WXYZ reported.
Investigators soon named Freeman as a person of interest in connection with Seitz’s death.
The suspect, who has been described as homeless and transient, was found sleeping in the back of a car by police in Waterford, WXYZ reported.
Investigators said he has family in the Waterford area.
He was arrested on charges of receiving and concealing a body and concealing a death, WXYZ reported.
Additional charges may be forthcoming.
“Because the investigation is ongoing, we are limited on what can be said at this time,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido told WDIV. “However, when we have additional information from the investigation, we will be updating everyone.”
Freeman faces up to five years in prison on each count if he is convicted, WXYZ reported.
He has pleaded not guilty.
He was ordered to be held on $75,000 bond, and must wear a GPS unit if he is released, according to WDIV.
Freeman’s next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9.
Seitz’s son, Justin Omans, said his mother did not know Freeman, WXYZ reported.
“I want answers because it’s killing me inside,” Omans said.
A fundraising campaign established to help Omans pay for his mother’s funeral has raised more than $2,700 so far.