Death cause unknown of young mom found in trunk of burning car

Image 1 of 8

A young 28-year-old mother was found dead stuffed in the trunk of a burning car last week. Angela Nielson was found on Forman Street in Detroit. The cause of her death is still unknown. 

"She's a mother, a daughter, a sister, she's a grandkid," says Dwayne Gabbard, the father of her children. "That's torture; that's just not something you do to a human."

Firefighters and police discovered her body so badly burned that dental records were used to identify her.

"What could she have done to make somebody do that?" Gabbard asks. "Honestly. What could she have done?

"She had no smoke in her throat so she was probably dead before she was put in there."

Body found in trunk of burned car on Detroit's southwest side

Gabbard, the father of two of her children, 7-year-old Mariah and 4-year-old Nevaeh, says for the last year and a half an addiction to pills and then heroin was taking over Nielson's life.

"I kind of prepared myself but (not) for the way it happened," he says.

Gabbard learned Nielsen's photo had been on the shady ad site Then, Nielsen was seen walking the streets of southwest Detroit.

Gabbard says he and his fiancée have often driven around looking for Nielson, trying to get her to get some help. But all of their attempts had failed.

"I wish I could have gone out there every day," Gabbard said. "And tell her to get her in the car and get her some help."

Gabbard says a photo shows Nielson with a man named Michael Randol. Randol faces federal drug charges and was arrested during the massive prostitution raid of Victory Inn. Gabbard says Nielsen was there.

"She was one of the females who was taken to the hospital for being sick," Gabbard said.

As police continue to investigate, Gabbard struggled to explain where Nielsen is to little Mariah and Nevaeh.

"That's the worst part of it all, looking at those girls," he says.

Gabbard told Mariah that her mother is now an angel.

"She said, 'Do angels look out of the sky at you while you're sleeping?' I said yes, mommy is looking out of the sky while you're sleeping."

And as he vows to find who took this young mother from her children, Gabbard also wished he could have done more.

"Drugs got the best of her, it did," Gabbard says. "It's bad out there. It's bad."