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They thought the neighbor had moved after not seeing her for a year. Then a 'mummified' body was found in the home's bathtub

Bullhead City police were dispatched Saturday to locate a suspected burglar. They found the burglar, plus something else.

BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. — Bullhead City police reported finding a "mummified" body inside a home that was being burglarized over the weekend. 

The remains of a person were found in the bathtub of a home in the 100 block of Palm Avenue after police were dispatched to the residence Saturday morning to investigate a burglary. 

"This is definitely an unusual circumstance," said Detective Robin Holstrom with the Bullhead City Police Department.

She said officers found Christine Lee Walters, 65, inside the residence rummaging through the property. Detective Holstrom questioned Walter about why she was inside the home.

"She said that she was removing items from the residents," Holstrom said. 

Holstrom said Walters had allegedly been at the same residence two days before, claiming she stole several purses and articles of clothing. 

"She just thought it was an empty home," the detective said.

While at the residence, police said officers located a deceased person in a mummified state who is believed to be the homeowner. It is unknown how long the body had been in the house. 

Holstrom said, "The body just appeared as though it had been there for an extended period of time."

Neighbors told police they had not seen their neighbor in about a year and had assumed she moved away. 

While investigators are now waiting for the medical examiner to identify the homeowner and her cause of death, Rebecca Wallace with Bio-One, a company that specializes in responding to these types of situations, said in order for a body to become mummified, "It can happen as quickly as two months."

"The organs are actually packed inside of the body, as well as the skin. So everything is preserved inside the body."

Walters has been booked into jail on two counts of burglary and may face additional charges, police said.

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