When 26-year-old Alyssa Sanderfer vanished earlier this year, her mother told family friends that the special needs woman passed away from natural causes.
The Indiana mom, who has not been named by police, said that her daughter’s body was cremated after her passing in late January or early February.
But now the death is under investigation after Alyssa’s body was found in the back of a U-haul van this week, according to Fox 59.
Workers at a U-haul depot in Indianapolis discovered the body in the back of a van during an inspection.
Her remains had been placed inside a plastic bag that was so small it was at first mistaken for an infant child, Metro reports.
Brandi Neely, who rented her Munchie home to the family, said Alyssa suffered from cerebral palsy and her legs “weren’t developed as a normal grown 26-year-old would be.”
She told WXIN:
“She basically just laid in bed all day, and they fed her with a feeding tube.”
Neely described the Sanderfers as living in unsanitary conditions, surrounded by human waste and without running water.
Then one day last month, she said they left the home in the middle of the night. Neely said:
“They cut out in the middle of the night. They rented a U-Haul and cut out.”
Police have now spoken with Alyssa’s mother as part of the investigation and said she is cooperating.
Alyssa’s cause of death has yet to be determined, but her family could still face charges even if she did die from the flu as they claimed.
According to Fox 59, they could be charged with improper disposal of a body if they’re found responsible for leaving Alyssa’s body in the van.
But for now, the Sanderfers aren’t facing any charges connected to the grisly discovery.