In one of the odder death stories we've come across, the female driver of a hearse was found dead behind the wheel today next to the famed Beverly Hills Hotel, police tell the Weekly.
Cops say they got the call of a body slumped over the steering wheel of a car in the 900 block of North Crescent Drive about 3 p.m.
We spotted the initial reports from BHScanner, which tweeted that Crescent Drive was closed as authorities continued to investigate the situation this afternoon:
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Beverly Hills police Lt. Lincoln Hoshino told us that the discovery had nothing to do with the noted hotel. The driver appeared to have parked nearby and then succumbed to what authorities think was a natural-causes death.
The woman, he said, was actually en route to a funeral.
She was not a guest of the hotel, nor was she a resident of Beverly Hills, Hoshino said.
Her body might have been there since this morning, he said. Coroner's officials were investigating.
Hoshino said the woman's ID could not be released because her family still needed to be notified.
[Added at 11:15 p.m.]: Beverly Hills police released a statement tonight indicating there was also a body in the back of the hearse:
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The hearse was on duty and in the process of transporting a decedent. There does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding this investigation at this time.
[Added at 11:47 p.m. Tuesday]: The woman was identified as 59-year-old Garlandine Garvin of Los Angeles. City News Service:
Garlandine Garvin of Los Angeles was found slumped behind the wheel of
the white custom Lincoln Continental parked on Crescent Drive just north of Sunset Boulevard about 3 p.m. Monday, according to Beverly Hills police and a coroner's spokesman.
It was unclear if the cause of death had been established, but authorities said there was no evidence of foul play.
Garvin was supposed to be taking the body to a viewing when she died, according to police.