What happened to the nurse found in the freezer? Last seen alive in 1995.

By Claire Wolters | Fact-checked by Jessica Wrubel
Published January 26, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • The body of a former nurse was found in a freezer in a San Diego home.

  • Police say there are not enough details to confirm the death was a homicide, but that it is considered suspicious.

Out-of-town visitors discovered a dead body in a chest freezer in a San Diego home this December. Police identified the body as Mary Margaret Haxby-Jones, a former nurse who was suspected to have once lived at the address where her body was found.[]

According to the Los Angeles Times, police say there “was no obvious traumatic injury,” but that they are still investigating the case as a “suspicious death.” Detectives said that Haxby-Jones had likely been dead or missing for some time before her body was found — with an estimate of up to nine years. However, police say she was never reported as missing.[]

Unanswered questions 

Many of the details of death are a mystery and under investigation, including Haxby-Jones’ cause of death, when, and why it occurred. Likewise, police say they do not know who is living in the house where the body was found, who had been living there for the past nine years, and what their relationship is to the deceased nurse. People living in neighboring houses mentioned seeing a tall, slim, white-haired man perhaps in his older 70s around the home, according to NBC7.[][]

No arrests have been made about the discovery at this time. With the available information, it is too soon to call the case a homicide, police told reporters.

What we know about nurse Haxby-Jones

There are some facts that are known about Haxby-Jones. She previously worked as a nurse anesthetist in San Diego for about 20 years. She worked at Zion Medical Center from 1980 until 1999, when she resigned, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was also not heard of from family members for multiple years leading up to her body’s discovery.[]

A relative of Haxby-Jones — who had not seen the nurse since 1995 — told the Los Angeles Times that the nurse was a military veteran, and participated in hobbies ranging from getting her nails done to rescuing exotic birds. Had she been alive today, she would have been 81.[]

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