The night clerk for a St. Petersburg, Fla. apartment complex was fired from his job of nine years after he mistook the corpse of a 96-year-old female resident of the complex for a mannequin, and tossed the body into a trash bin.
USA Today reported on April 4 that Ron Benjamin, 61, the night clerk at Peterborough Apartments, saw the corpse when he was taking a cigarette break around 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, but thought the body was a mannequin, and all part of an elaborate April Fool's joke.
He asked a couple of newspaper carriers to help him carry the body to a dumpster. Hours later, a maintenance worker looked inside and realized that the remains were human. Apartment managers called police.
Turns out, an elderly female resident, Nan Yates, who had lived at the complex for years, committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of her apartment building’s sixteenth floor – substantiated by a suicide note Yates left in her apartment that was later found by police.
Officers say she had been dead for hours and rigor mortis had set in, potentially adding to the illusion that the men were moving a mannequin.
Benjamin said that he is “haunted by the vision of what he thought was a mannequin.”
"I'm telling you, I swear to God, the face looked like a rubber mask." - The Huffington Post
The local police aren’t filing any charges against the former night clerk, and referred to the whole episode as a tragic accident.
For more on this tragic case of mistaken identity, see the video accompanying this article.
To receive e-mail alerts to Richard's Domestic Crimes articles, Subscribe Here to Get Instant Updates.
E-mail alerts are free, private and secure, and you won't get any ink on your fingers.