Police Saturday continued to investigate the death of an 87-year-old woman — a retired Los Angeles county sheriff’s homicide detective — whose body was discovered inside a freezer in the garage of her Riverside home.
Riverside police said the body was discovered when officers went to the residence in the 6000 block of New Ridge Drive at about 9:35 a.m. last Sunday to conduct a welfare check on the woman, who lived there with a daughter.
Authorities identified the woman as Miriam E. Travis. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Travis was a 27-year employee of the agency, retiring in 1990 as a detective sergeant. She worked in the department’s Homicide Bureau for 11 years.
A former colleague told the Los Angeles Times that Travis was the first woman to work murders in a unit known as “The Bulldogs.”
Her husband, Doug Travis, a helicopter pilot in the department, died two years after they retired together.
“Our hearts are broken by this news and the entire LASD family mourns her loss,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement Tuesday.
Officer Javier Cabrera of the Riverside Police Department said relatives from out of state had called police to report they hadn’t heard from the woman in a couple of months.
Officers interviewed the woman’s daughter, identified by The Press-Enterprise only as Carol, and noted some inconsistencies in her statements, Cabrera said. They subsequently found the body in a freezer in the garage of the residence, Cabrera said.
The daughter was not arrested, Cabrera said.
Relatives told the Press-Enterprise that Travis and her daughter lived a reclusive existence in the neighborhood, and she had largely cut off contact with her family following the death of her husband in 1992.
Authorities told the paper the house was disheveled, with piles of trash inside and hoarding conditions, accompanied by a foul odor.