Missing mom of newborn found dead, wrapped in a tarp next to makshift coffin

A homicide investigation is underway after California officials discovered a woman’s body in a parking lot that was reportedly wrapped in a tarp near an apparent makeshift coffin, ABC 7 reports.

Police say the body of 34-year-old Marlene Santellan, of San Bernardino, was found wrapped in a blue tarp and placed beside a plywood box that rested against a chain-link fence.

At approximately 8 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to a 911 call reporting a dead body in a parking lot located on the 2500 block of N. Del Rosa Avenue in San Bernardino, San Bernardino Police Lt. Mike Madden told KTLA. Witnesses said the body was found near a wooden box, according to the station.

In a statement, San Bernardino Police Lt. Mike Madden said there were “suspicious circumstances found at the scene.”

The cause of death is pending an autopsy, according to the statement.

Authorities said it was unclear how long the body had been there, though the woman had been reported missing by family 11 days prior, according to ABC 7.

Santellan was the mother of three daughters, the youngest only 2-months-old, the media outlet reports.

Despite previous reports that said the woman’s body was dismembered, San Bernardino Police Department announced on their Facebook page that the “rumors of dismemberment are false.”

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to contact San Bernardino Police Detective Cunningham at (909) 284-5745, or Sgt. Kokesh at (909) 384-5613.

[Feature photo: Facebook/Marlene Santellan]