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Woman's dead body found in car following high-speed police chase: 'Foul play is suspected'
Composite screenshot of YouTube video and Laurel County website

Woman's dead body found in car following high-speed police chase: 'Foul play is suspected'

A Florida man is in custody and facing a long list of charges, including murder, after he allegedly led Kentucky police on a high-speed chase with the corpse of a woman in the back of his SUV.

Beginning just after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Kentucky State Police had what Trooper Scottie Pennington described to LEX18 News as "a very unique situation." A trooper monitoring traffic on I-75 near Richmond, Kentucky, spotted a Lincoln SUV weaving through traffic and otherwise "driving carelessly," a KSP report stated. The trooper then attempted to pull the driver over.

The driver, later identified as 54-year-old David Maurice Reed, initially complied. However, as the trooper approached the vehicle, Reed allegedly sped off, heading southbound on I-75. Reed then led troopers on a high-speed chase for 40 miles and across three counties, reaching speeds of up to 120 mph, reports claim. Eventually, police employed spiked strips and what the report called "a legal intervention maneuver" to bring the suspect's vehicle to a halt. Reed was then arrested without further incident.

However, an inspection of the SUV yielded a horrifying surprise. The deceased remains of 53-year-old Rachel Louise Carder of Huntington, West Virginia, were discovered inside a "plastic tote" located in the back. Though an official cause of death has yet to be determined, reports say that Carder appeared to have suffered facial trauma and other bodily injuries. In particular, she seemed to have sustained an injury "caused by an edged weapon," reports said.

"The cause of death is undetermined at this time, and foul play is suspected," the police report stated. "[Carder's remains] will be sent to the Kentucky State Medical Office in Frankfort for an autopsy."

Though WKYT has reported that Reed was a "stranger" to Carder, Reed allegedly later admitted to police that he and Carder had been fighting in a motel or hotel room near the interstate. Reed also supposedly had red marks on his clothing at the time of his arrest, and officials suspect that those marks may be blood. Officials are still trying to determine when and where Carder was killed.

Reed, who is from St. Petersburg, Florida, has been charged with murder — domestic violence, tampering with physical evidence, abuse of a corpse, first-degree fleeing or evading police, second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, careless driving, resisting arrest, and operating a vehicle without a license. He is being held in Laurel County Corrections Center on $1 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court again on January 20.

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