Police ID body found in freezer sold to NC woman

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – Goldsboro Police have identified the woman found dead in a freezer that a woman had purchased for $30 from her neighbor in early May.

Arma Ann Roush, 75, has been identified as the woman found inside the chest freezer on May 27 at an apartment located in the 1700 block of Holly Street.

The woman, who asked to not be identified, said she bought the freezer from her neighbor, but that she didn’t immediately open it because that neighbor told her it was being used as a “time capsule.”

The seller of the freezer said it was part of a class project she was doing with her church Sunday school class.

“A church was supposed to come, pick up the items inside the freezer. I was supposed to get the freezer back. The church never came. I decided to open it,” the freezer buyer said.

The buyer called 911 after seeing the contents of the freezer.

“I have a serious problem. My neighbor sold me a deep freezer. I just opened it and there’s a body in there I think,” she told the 911 dispatcher. “I am freaking out.”

Police confirmed the human remains were found Friday inside the home on Holly Street.

The woman who discovered it said she believes it was the body of the neighbor’s elderly mother inside the freezer.

Goldsboro authorities confirmed that Roush was the neighbor’s elderly mother.

“She sold me her frozen mother for $30. How do you do something like that??” the woman said.

The mother had lived with her daughter for years, but hadn’t been seen since August 2015, police said.

“[She was] just the sweetest lady. I mean quiet, kept to herself, stayed at home. Just unbelievable how she could just stick her mom in a freezer,” the freezer buyer said.

The woman said that the day after she bought the freezer, the neighbor who sold it to her then left town. She said she was going to West Virginia to be with her mother, who was now in a nursing home.

Investigators said they have not been able to locate and notify any next of kin.

The medical examiner has listed her death as unknown and there were no apparent signs of foul play. The body was intact and not dismembered, police said.

Investigators are looking into how the body got into the freezer and if any other crimes have occurred since the death of Roush.

On June 2, felony warrants were secured on Marcella Jean Lee, 56, of Goldsboro. She is wanted by authorities for failing to report a death since she did not report the death of her mother.

The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected, police said.

Anyone with information about this crime or any other crime in Wayne County is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-735-2255 or text at 919-222-4230. Callers will remain anonymous and if your information leads to a felony arrest you will be given a cash reward for the information.  Crime Stoppers gives cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to felony arrests.

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