Passenger recovered at crash site had been dead for hours

Passenger recovered at crash site had been dead for hours
File photo (Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr)

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio — An Ohio motorist was arrested after authorities discovered he had been driving with the corpse of a dead man.

John Polen, 31, was driving Monday in Belmont County when he veered off the road and crashed his vehicle near Interstate 470.

Law enforcement officials who arrived on the scene said 36-year-old David Allen Saunders was thrown from the car during the accident.

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Police initially presumed Saunders had died in the wreck, but a coroner determined he had been dead for at least several hours, WTRF reported.

Investigators found that Saunders had been missing since Sunday, and an arrest warrant out for Polen showed he was wanted for offenses against a human corpse, according to WTRF.

According to WTRF, police said one of Sauders' shoes was found in Polen’s home.

A cause of death for Saunders has not yet been released.

Police believe Polen was under the the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.

Polen was arrested and jailed and is being held without bond. Authorities said he “claims he’s having memory issues” about what happened.