LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The mummified remains of a disabled Kentucky woman were found in the trunk of her brother's car, police said, and her crudely wrapped body may have been stored in her bedroom for two years.
The severely decomposed body of Penny Brown, 31, was discovered Friday by police in the south-central town of Georgetown, Ky., said Georgetown Police Chief Greg Reeves. Police are searching for her brother, Timothy Allen Brown, 30, of Georgetown.
The car was discovered in St. Louis last week, Reeves said, when police responded to a complaint that it had been on a street for several days. Police had the car towed more than 300 miles back to Kentucky where they searched it and found the body.
Penny Brown's body had been "wrapped in quilts and then the quilts were wrapped in construction-grade plastic to make it more of an air-tight package, and then placed in the back of his car, in the trunk," said county coroner John Goble.
Goble said the body was so decomposed the state medical examiner's office was unable to determine a cause of death, but "she had no fractures, no broken bones whatsoever."
He said toxicology tests would be performed to determine how Penny Brown died, but "we're probably never going to know, to be honest."
Reeves said a Georgetown police officer had visited Timothy Brown's apartment Sept. 20 as part of a child welfare case involving his 8-year-old son, who was taken from the residence after social service workers found deplorable conditions there, including "human feces and everything just on the floor."
The officer went back after the child had "mentioned he was never allowed in Aunt Penny's room," Reeves said.
Afterward, Timothy Brown disappeared, and police contacted another relative, who filed a missing persons report, he said.
Police believe the body was kept in Timothy Brown's apartment for two years, Reeves said, probably in Penny Brown's bedroom. The police chief said Timothy Brown had signed his sister out of a nursing home in 2006.
"There was a bedroom that was her bedroom in the apartment," Reeves said. "We believe that's where he stored her."
Reeves said Penny Brown had used a wheelchair but would not elaborate further on her disability.
Timothy Brown has not been charged, police said.