Sodium bicarbonate acts as a neutralizing agent, it can be used to absorb odors which are caused due to strong acids. In this case, it wasn’t strong enough:
COSTA MESA – A California woman who befriended a homeless woman and let her sleep in her car told police she didn’t know where to turn when the woman unexpectedly died – so she drove the body around for months along with a box of baking soda to hide the smell, authorities said Thursday.
Officers with the Costa Mesa police found the unidentified body Monday after getting a call about a car partially blocking a driveway, Sgt. Ed Everett told The Associated Press. When officers arrived, they noticed a stench and saw a leg poking out from a blanket and some clothes, he said.
The partially mummified remains consisted of mostly skin and bones and weighed about 30 pounds, he said.
An autopsy showed no signs of foul play but police are still investigating the role of the car’s driver.
Another news story reported this:
Police say a corpse was propped up in the passenger seat of a Mercury Marquis for the last ten months. A woman was driving it around town during that time. Apparently, conditions inside the vehicle allowed for mummification.
“Initially the driver of the vehicle had indicated that she was unaware that this person was in the vehicle and didn’t indicate that there was anything wrong with the vehicle,” Sgt. Everett explained.
But later, the driver came clean. The 57-year-old woman says she met a homeless woman at a local park and allowed her to sleep in the car. One day, the driver discovered her friend was dead, panicked, and the left the corpse in the passenger’s seat. But she continued to dress the body and drive around with it.
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