Trial set for woman who drove around Sebastian with a dead body

Andrew Sanchez
Andrew Sanchez

The trial involving a woman who drove around Sebastian with a dead body in her car is set for June 6, 2022. The case will be at the Indian River County Courthouse before 19th Circuit Court Judge Dan Vaughn.

Andrea Sanchez, 39, of California, was visiting a friend in Sebastian, where she met John Swanigan at a party. Swanigan went missing but was last seen in Sanchez’s silver BMW. 

Investigators from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office began searching for the vehicle and asked the public for assistance. Not long after that, a Sebastian resident called into the tip line giving the address of where they saw a BMW matching the description.

Law enforcement arrived at the Sebastian residence on Dickens Avenue, where they found Sanchez raking leaves. When detectives introduced themselves to Sanchez, she asked if they were there about the “missing guy,” the report said. 

“Andrea (Sanchez) said she had been in communication with John’s (Swanigan) family,” the affidavit said.

However, detectives observed a foul odor near the BMW and asked Sanchez if they could search the vehicle, and she gave consent. They opened the truck and found Swanigan’s body covered with a blanket. 

According to the affidavit, Sanchez denied being involved with Swanigan’s death and claimed he “sexually abused her.” Following the alleged abuse, she claims that she left the area without her vehicle.

“A couple of days later, she went back to the location where she left her vehicle and drove it back home. Andrea (Sanchez) stated this location is approximately east near a canal at the 5700 (block) of U.S. Highway 1 in Vero Beach,” according to the affidavit.

Sanchez said she discovered the dead body in the truck after she purchased a new battery for the car. She admitted driving around Sebastian for approximately ten days with the corpse in the trunk.

Sanchez was charged with Abuse of a Dead Human Body and Tampering with Evidence. 

Sebastian Daily will be covering the trial on June 6, 2022.

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About Andy Hodges 2819 Articles
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies. In 2002, he permanently moved back to Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.