By Calvin Palmer
A minivan parked for several weeks beneath an overpass in New York City accumulated parking tickets on an almost daily basis until city marshals tried to tow the vehicle away and discovered a man’s decomposing body on the back seat.
George Morales, 59, died from heart disease, according the medical examiner’s office.
His body went undiscovered because the vehicle’s windows were tinted and ticketing officers do not normally search cars, police said today.
The number of tickets on the minivan’s windshield when it was towed on Wednesday from 34th Avenue under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway overpass has not been disclosed. Witnesses had reported a foul odor near the vehicle.
Police believed Morales had been living out of the white Chevrolet minivan, which had North Carolina plates.
But his daughter, Jennifer Morales, 29, said he had been living with her and her two children in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. She said she last saw her father in early May and had called police.
“The window was cracked open,” she said. “I don’t understand how no one noticed him. They just gave him tickets.”
She said her father was a handyman who suffered from diabetes. But police do not have a missing person’s report on record for Morales.
“In the autopsy, they said they just found skeletal remains, no organs, only his heart,” she said.
X-rays taken of her father in 2007 at Elmhurst Hospital Center were used to give a positive identification.
The Morales family plans to cremate the remains.