Police in Graham are investigating how the body of 37-year-old Linda Walton was left unattended for so long.
The hearse is owned by David B. Lawson Mortuary, which now faces an investigation by the state agency that grants funeral licenses. Lawson declined to comment on the case Wednesday.
Paul Harris, executive director of the state Board of Funeral Service, declined to comment on the specifics of the case. If the board decides to discipline Lawson, punishments range from a warning to the loss of his license.
"We certainly don't see this very often," Harris said.