Cops Say They Pulled Over Man In Underpants & Found His Dead, Naked Wife Next To Him
Rodney Puckett, 70, allegedly told police his wife died during their road trip, and he just kept on going. Authorities say they have deemed the death “suspicious.”
ELOY, AZ — A naked, 70-year-old Oklahoma man was reportedly pulled over and arrested in Arizona when, police say, a local officer discovered the body of the driver’s dead wife strapped into the vehicle’s passenger seat. The wife was allegedly also naked — and upside down.
The Eloy Police Department reports that Rodney Puckett was stopped for a traffic violation this past Monday, whereupon Detective Adam Edmonds said he noticed a dead woman next to the driver. Officials say the woman has since been identified as Linda Puckett, Rodney’s 74-year-old wife.
Detective Edmonds said he had been inside a Carl’s Jr. when employee Maria Davis alerted him to a nude couple that had just used the drive-through window.
Talking to a TV reporter, Davis said, “I so happened to look on the passenger side and that's when I seen he had the lady in there, she was like completely naked. The way she was face down, like laying down, and then I seen the color of her feet were like purple… He was like normal, like really normal about it. He was calm, he ordered his food."
Edmonds reportedly gave brief pursuit, pulled over Rodney’s vehicle, and arrested him.
Eloy Police Sergeant Kristie Barnette told the press that Rodney was wearing “only a pair of underwear” and that he'd positioned Linda in the seat, “laying with her head on the floorboard and her legs on the headrest [so that] detective realized very quickly that she was deceased.”
A police statement alleges that Rodney told investigators that he and Linda were on an “unplanned trip” from Oklahoma to California when she died in a hotel room in El Paso, Texas. Rodney reportedly said he moved Linda’s body into the car at the hotel and intended to continue on to their original destination.
As Barnette described it, “During an interview, Rodney told detectives that he noticed Linda was unresponsive in the hotel room, and when he was unable to wake Linda, he loaded her onto the luggage cart and into the vehicle. The security video shows Rodney pushing a luggage cart out of the room with what appears to be a woman’s body on it. The body was hidden by a blanket or sheet.”
Medical examiners reportedly found evidence of “blunt force trauma,” according to Barnette, but an official cause of death has not been announced, pending further investigation.
Eloy Police are reportedly working with El Paso authorities to determine if Linda might be the victim of a homicide. Barnette said the death has been officially deemed “suspicious.”
Last April, according to KFOR-TV, a Silver Alert was issued for Rodney when he was reported missing, but it was cancelled after he turned up in Kansas and allegedly got arrested for eluding officers. According to that Silver Alert, Rodney was said to suffer from bipolar disorder.
KNXV-TV has reported that Linda Puckett was allegedly awarded an order of protection against her husband on February 8, and that she filed for divorce two days later.
According to jail documents, Rodney Puckett has been charged with abandonment or concealment of a body. He is said to be in Pinal County jail on a $100,000 bond. Eloy Police stated that additional charges may be filed.
Barnette made no comment on the couple reportedly being naked at the drive-through window, but she summed up the situation by saying, “I have been in law enforcement and with the Eloy Police Department for 17 years and this is the most bizarre case I have ever seen in Eloy.”