Two care workers responsible for an elderly man are facing charges of abusing a corpse after they allegedly stuffed his body into a suitcase in New York, drove 1,300 miles to Arkansas and left the case in a field.
Sheriff Rick Hickman told reporters that police were alerted when the case was found in the field in central Arkansas.
Virginia "Ginger" Colvin and Michael Stivers were arrested in Prairie County, Arkansas, he said.
Authorities have not identified the body, which was found on 5 March, Hickman said. A preliminary autopsy showed that the man had died of natural causes in his home in Johnston, New York, sometime during the previous week, Arkansas Online reported.
"We got a call from someone in the Cross Roads community here in town complaining of a blue Toyota pickup truck filled with furniture and junk a couple was trying to [sell] in a parking lot," said Hickman.
"One of the patrons of this sale went to the back of the truck and unzipped a larger blue suitcase and saw a body."
The case, with the body inside, was later found by police in the field.
Lt David Gilbo of Johnstown Police Department told the Leader-Herald that officers questioned a woman who lives in the home in New York where the victim was also a resident but that she was not charged.
Police did not consider the man's death murder, however, Gilbo added. Police were investigating the case as a possible Social Security fraud.
"This is still an open investigation," Hickman told reporters. "They are actively investigating this in New York to find out what happened up there."