Williamston, NC – A Martin County man was arrested after the deceased body of his girlfriend was found in the couple’s bedroom.
Authorities believe 44-year-old Randall Johnson intentionally concealed the death of Carla Jean Baggett by failing to officially report her dead, and slept next to her body for nearly three days. The 48-year-old woman was last seen alive on April 3.
For three days thereafter, Johnson kept her body hidden and made up excuses to keep her inquisitive family at bay. When asked, Johnson stated Baggett was sleeping or smoking a cigarette in the bedroom and didn’t want to be bothered.
Relatives living in the residence finally contacted 911 and officers found Baggett’s decomposing body inside the single-wide mobile home the couple shared on Ballard Road.
At this time, authorities have not officially determined the cause of death or why Johnson hid her body. Investigators say that they do not suspect foul play and there is no indication that Johnson was involved in Baggett’s death. Relatives think Baggett likely died from an overdose of Xanax.
Johnson has been charged with concealing a death from law enforcement and is being held on a $100,000 secured bond, reports WCTI12.
People refuse to report the passing of a loved one for several reasons. In March, it was reported a 39-year-old woman in Munich, Germany shared a bedroom with her dead 70-year-old mother for eight months. The woman kept the decomposing corpse on a sofa bed because she was unable to afford a burial on her unemployment benefits.
Authorities finally uncovered the gruesome sleeping arrangement because the deceased mother had left behind debts that were unresolved in her absence. When a district court appraiser arrived at the residence to assess valuables to settle the outstanding bills, the daughter told him her mother was dead and showed him the body as proof.
The appraiser notified police, who took the daughter into voluntary psychiatric care. She fraudulently claimed her mother’s pension, but investigators did not believe this was the only motive behind failing to report her mother’s death. Tragically, the daughter was unaware she could have applied for up to €3,200 in assistance to cover the cost of a basic burial.
One of the more disturbing cases of someone concealing remains in their home was that of Carl Tanzler, a German-born radiologist at the United States Marine Hospital in Key West, Florida. Tanzler developed a morbid obsession for a young Cuban-American tuberculosis patient named Elena Milagro “Helen” de Hoyos that carried on well after her death in 1931. She was 22. The radiologist was twice her age at the time.
In 1933, Tanzler secretly procured Helen’s body from its burial tomb, and lived with the corpse in his home for seven years until its discovery by the woman’s relatives in 1940. The remains of the young woman had been kept in the Tanzler’s bedroom. Reports indicate the decayed body had been augmented with a vaginal appliance to accommodate his unhealthy necrophilia ways. Tanzler saved her hair and wove it into a wig, strung her bones together with piano wire, outfitted the skull with glass eyes, and the corpse bore a plaster and wax facade.