When caretakers for an elderly man found that their patient had suddenly died of natural causes, they decided not to call for an ambulance. For reasons currently only known to Virginia Lee Colvin and Michael Wayne Stivers, the body of their deceased patient was instead loaded into a large suitcase and placed into the bed of a blue Toyota pickup truck.
From there the couple would take their patient on one last road trip, beginning in upstate New York and ending in a small town in Arkansas. The body of their former patient was later found in a farmer’s field in Prairie County.
Police began investigating Colvin and Stivers when a concerned citizen phoned in a tip. Colvin and Stivers were seen in a parking lot attempting to sell furniture and other assorted bric-a-brac that had been in the truck bed, along with the body of their patient. One potential customer made the mistake of opening the suitcase and witnessed what they believed to have been a body inside.
By the time police arrived to respond to the bizarre report, Colvin and Stivers had already fled the scene. When the suitcase containing the man’s body later turned up in a field, the description of the truck was used to trace the trail back to Colvin.
The case is still under investigation, but police have speculated that the couple may have been engaged in social security fraud. Currently, Colvin and Stivers have only been charged with abuse of a corpse. They are being held in Prairie County Jail as more details in the case unfold.
As for the elderly victim, a preliminary autopsy determined that the man had died of natural causes and it is believed that he had expired prior to being taken to Arkansas. Medical examiners also determined that the man had been dead for some time. The 89-year-old has not been publicly identified.