The dead body of a 30-year-old man has been found stuffed inside a barrel, covered with a blanket, at a hotel room in Tennessee.
Jamie Holland, 44, who is also known as Jamie May Smith, was arrested and charged Monday in connection with the man’s death.
The remains of Jose Lopez were found after Chattanooga police received an anonymous tip about a body inside a room at the Motel 6 on Lee Highway, reported Local 3. Officers arrived at the hotel Saturday and found Lopez’s body inside a barrel in room 216.
Investigators searched the area and found what appeared to be methamphetamine in the room next door. They also sieved through surveillance footage and saw Holland leaving the hotel room where the body was found.
Holland was reportedly renting one of the rooms. When questioned, the woman said she and Lopez would do meth together “all the time.”
After finding him unresponsive one day, Holland “freaked out” and stole a barrel from a nearby park and stuffed the body inside it because she did not want to contact the police, according to the arrest affidavit, reported WTVC-TV NewsChannel 9.
“Ms. Holland stated that a couple days ago, approximately 4 days ago, Ms. Holland came in the room and Mr. Lopez was laying [sic] on the bed, but appeared to be breathing,” the affidavit read. The woman then left the room and later returned to find Lopez unresponsive.
“Ms. Holland stated that she freaked out, so she went to the baseball fields down the road and grabbed a barrel,” police said. “She stated she brought the barrel back up to her room, and put it on its side. She then placed Mr. Lopez on the ground, and put him inside of the barrel. Ms. Holland stated that she then put a blanket over the barrel.”
“She stated she just wanted the body out of her room, she did not want to call police, and that she did not want to go to jail,” they added.
Holland was arrested Monday and charged with abuse of a corpse and felony possession of methamphetamine.