Police in Riverside checked on Miriam Travis, an 87-year-old woman at her home, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.
After not hearing from her for several months, family members contacted police about Miriam who was a 27-year veteran of the department.
When officers arrived at her home, they talked with one of her 64-year-old daughters who had been living in the residence. But police thought something felt off.
The investigation became more bizzare when police discovered a body inside a refrigerator in the garage.
Thousands of murders, disappearances of Indigenous women remain unsolved The officers had spoken to the victim's daughter, who police said gave them "inconsistent" answers about her mother's whereabouts, prompting a search of the home, according to Riverside police officer Ryan Railsback.
Homicide investigators were working to determine how the woman died before she was placed inside the refrigerator.
The daughter, who has not been identified, was detained for questioning and later released, police said Monday.
Family members who live on the East Coast called the police to check on the woman because they had not heard from her for a couple of weeks.
"Our hearts are broken by this news, and the entire LASD family mourns her loss," Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement Tuesday.
Body found identified as missing 21-year-old woman last seen in Myrtle Beach During her time at the sheriff's department, Travis held assignments at the Sybil Brand Institute for Women, the Administrative Research Bureau and East Los Angeles Sheriff's Station's Juvenile Detective and Youth Services.
Before retiring, she worked as a detective sergeant at the sheriff's Homicide Bureau for 11 years, the agency said.
In a 1988 letter to mark her 25 years of service at the department, former L.A. County Sheriff Sherman Block said, "The County of Los Angeles, and more particularly the Department of the Sheriff, is extremely fortunate in having retained the services of so faithful and devoted an employee," according to the agency.