California authorities are investigating the death of a previously-missing woman whose body was found near a makeshift coffin this weekend, according to multiple reports.
The body of 34-year-old Marlene Santellan was found Saturday morning beside a plywood box believed to have been her intended coffin, a San Bernardino police spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.
Santellan was reported missing by her mother days earlier, according to the paper. Her body was found in a lot on Del Rosa Avenue by a chain-link fence.
A police spokesperson told the paper they believe Santellan’s body fell out of the box when it was dumped, the Times reports.
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Her body was wrapped in a tarp, according to KTLA. Police issued a statement refuting rumors that the body had been dismembered.
It is unknown if there are any suspects or persons of interest in the case.
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Santellan was the mother of three daughters, according to KABC. Her youngest daughter was two months old.
An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death, according to KTLA. It is unknown how long Santellan’s body was in the lot.
“It’s just scary that I live down the street and my kids, you know, walk around the neighborhood — not over here but it’s close to home,” Katie Severt, a neighbor, told KTLA. “So, you never know what’s going on around here or why.”
Anyone with information is urged to call San Bernardino police detectives at (909) 384-5742.
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