By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Police discovered the body of a woman packed in a large container with dry ice in a hotel room as they were serving a search warrant in a cocaine investigation, authorities said Friday.
Detectives found the fully clothed and "well preserved" body late Thursday after arresting a guest at the Fairmont Newport Beach for investigation of selling and possessing cocaine on the hotel grounds, police Sgt. Evan Sailor said.
When they searched Stephen David Royds' room, they found the body inside a Rubbermaid container filled with dry ice, he said.
"It's definitely weird," Sailor said.
An autopsy of the body was "inconclusive" because there was no sign of trauma and her death did not appear to be a homicide, said Dan Akin, an Orange County supervising deputy coroner.
Investigators were trying to identify the woman, who appeared to be in her 20s or 30s, as they awaited results from a blood toxicology test. It wasn't clear how long she had been dead, Sailor said.
Police were also investigating whether Royds was involved in the death. He was held on $30,000 bail.
Royds, 46, told police he was a resident of Newport Beach, but there was no telephone listing for him. A receptionist at the hotel, a posh complex surrounded by palms, referred inquiries to company spokeswoman Michelle Heston.
"We are working alongside and assisting the Newport Beach police in this investigation but right now it's in their hands ... this is a police matter," Heston said in a telephone interview.
When I was in LA, we stayed in Anaheim but popped by Newport Beach for a while to have dinner and stick our feet in the Pacific.
I don't remember the ice.