Dead body travels 1,000 miles on Amtrak - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

Dead body travels 1,000 miles on Amtrak

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Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2006 7:05 am | Updated: 4:24 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

CHICAGO - An Amtrak passenger traveling with her ailing father waited nearly 23 hours and about 1,000 miles to tell authorities he had died so she could avoid the cost of shipping the body home, police said.

The train had reached Chicago when Daniel Stepanovich's daughter told officials that he had died in a sleeper car on Sunday evening, about the time the train was pulling into Glenwood Springs, Colo., said Chicago Police spokeswoman Jo Ann Taylor.

The woman told police she couldn't afford to ship his body home. She said Stepanovich, 80, suffered from lung and brain cancer.

Stepanovich was pronounced dead of natural causes on Tuesday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. He had lived in Hammond, Ind. His daughter, who was not identified, lives in the Chicago suburb of Grayslake.

Officials were not sure when the two boarded the the California Zephyr, which travels from Emeryville, Calif., to Chicago.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said he couldn't recall a situation in which a passenger's death went unreported for so long.

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