Police in Phoenix are investigating why the family of a woman drove her body around Arizona in a van full of animals and bugs.
According to KSAZ, Phoenix Police found 12 dogs, 22 cats, 1 pigeon and cockroaches inside of a van with the body of Lola Mae Stout. The animals were malnourished and covered in feces. Not all of them are expected to survive.
Court documents obtained by KSAZ indicated that conflicting statements were given by Lola Mae’s husband, Alva Stout, and her two sons, Alan and Gregory Stout.
One of the men indicated that the Lola Mae had been alive when they stopped for gas in Quartzsite.
But Alan Stout claimed that she had collapsed in Quartzsite. He said that they put her in the van anyway and then drove 120 miles to Phoenix.
The court documents said that Lola Mae had a history of strokes, high blood pressure, goiter, and schizophrenia.
The Arizona Humane Society has determined that most if not all of the animals will not recover and recommended that they be put down.
“We got on scene and it’s not uncommon for our EMTs to respond to hoarding cases in a home,” Arizona Humane Society spokesperson Bretta Nelson told KSAZ. “What made this so different was the fact that it was a van filled with dozens and dozens of animals, people, feces, debris, cockroaches, spiders, just something we haven’t seen to that scope in a very very long time.”
Alva, Alan and Gregory Stout were charged with animal abuse. An investigation was ongoing to determine if additional charges would be filed.
Watch this video from KSAZ, broadcast July 16, 2013.
[Correction: The name of Quartzsite, Arizona has been fixed.]