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Body of woman found in freezer believed to be missing for 9 years

San Diego Police said family members from out of town were visiting when they discovered the body of Mary Margaret Haxby-Jones inside a chest freezer.
Body of woman found in freezer believed to be missing for 9 years
Posted at 12:44 PM, Jan 05, 2024

California authorities have identified the remains of a woman that's believed to have been missing for years after her body was found inside of a freezer last month.

The San Diego Police Department said Thursday the body was that of Mary Margaret Haxby-Jones, who's believed to have lived at the address at some point prior to the discovery. Police said she would have been 81-years-old.

"Essentially, out-of-town family members were at a residence and located a dead body inside of a chest freezer. They immediately called police," SDPD said in a statement. "Based on the unusual location of the body, the San Diego Police Homicide Unit was called to investigate."

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Neighbors who live on the same street reacted to the news Thursday night. One woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Scripps News San Diego that she knew Haxby-Jones, but couldn't recall the last time she saw her. The neighbor described her as a homebody. 

"I used to say 'Good morning Mary, hello Mary, goodbye Mary.' That’s it," she said.

Another neighbor said the discovery was "crazy," but that he never felt unsafe in the area. Several others speculated as to why and how the body ended up in the freezer in the first place.

"Social security checks, maybe," said Hasan Aljamaly. "I really doubt it’s not being able to let go. Funerals are really expensive. I don’t know."

Scripps News San Diego contacted one of Haxby-Jones' relatives and was told the family wanted privacy and wouldn't be releasing any statement.

Authorities said there was "no obvious" traumatic injury to the body but a cause of death has not yet been determined and remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531- 2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

This story was originally published by Laura Acevedo and Zac Self at Scripps News San Diego.

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