The deceased couple's son informed authorities that his parents wanted to be buried together
In early January, Robert Rea's son, John, 29, told the Columbiana County Sheriff's Office that his father, 70, died inside his home on his farm, Nettle Creek Farm & Nursery in Salem, Ohio.
After John reported Robert’s death, he told authorities that there would be another body on the property, reports WFMJ 21.
At first, deputies weren’t able to find the other body on the 40-acre farm. However, Sheriff Brian McLaughlin and another officer spotted an RV behind the barn and found Robert’s wife’s dead body inside the vehicle.
John told investigators that his father died on Dec. 31 and had been living inside the trailer with the body of his dead wife, Peggy Rea. Their son said she died in 2017 at age 64.
The Sheriff's office reported that Robert had been caring for Peggy’s remains by himself for the past six years, reports WFMJ 21. The sheriff said that her body was surrounded by herbs, wrapped in a blanket and was well-preserved for the amount of time she had been deceased.
"I've been doing this for almost 34 years and never seen anything like it," Sheriff McLaughlin told WFMJ 21. "I have never seen a body that has been gone that long and still that intact. We've had bodies that have been gone for much, much less time and had next to nothing left."
Both Robert and Peggy appeared to have died of natural causes, reports WBNS 27. The sheriff’s office sent Peggy’s body to the Columbiana County Coroner's Department, which was then transferred to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's office. The office evaluated her body for a cause of death and an approximate date of death, confirming she had been deceased for six years, reports WFMJ 21.
John informed authorities that Robert and Peggy were devout Quakers and wanted to be buried at the same time, per Cleveland.com.
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Representatives for the Columbiana County Sheriff's Office and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for more information on Friday.
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