05/17/17 — Woman police say placed mom's dead body in freezer indicted

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Woman police say placed mom's dead body in freezer indicted

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on May 17, 2017 9:12 AM

A Wayne County Grand Jury recently indicted a woman accused of putting her mother's body in a freezer to conceal her death from authorities and continuing to cash her Social Security checks.

Marcella Jean Lee, 57, of 1721 E. Holly St. Apt. B, was indicted for felony concealment of death and two counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense.

Warrants were secured for Lee's arrest after someone bought a freezer and opened it about three weeks later the night of May 27, 2016, to discover the remains of Lee's mother, 75-year-old Arma Ann Roush.

Roush was last seen alive in August 2015.

She lived with her daughter next door to where the person who opened the freezer and discovered her remains resided.

An autopsy performed on Roush by the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office did not show any signs of foul play that would have caused her death.

Her body was intact and not dismembered in any way.

Lee was arrested by the Carolina Beach Police Department in September 2016 and then brought back to Wayne County.

Maj. Anthony Carmon, head of the Goldsboro Police Department's Investigative Services Bureau, said Lee was charged and indicted for obtaining property by false pretenses because she continued to cash her mother's social security checks after she died and she allegedly hid her body.

He said he did not know how long she continued to cash the checks after her mother's death.