Man Finds Dead Body, Thinks It's Fake, Dumps It

'Mannequin' was actually 96-year-old woman

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 4, 2014 11:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – How exactly is it possible to mistake a dead body for a mannequin? Well, first of all, this story happened early on the morning after April Fools' Day. Ronald Benjamin, a desk clerk at a Florida seniors' apartment building, noticed the shape of a body on the patio while on a smoke break at about 4:30am Wednesday. Thinking it was an April Fools' prank, he went back inside, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Hours later, another employee saw the same thing, but Benjamin assured her it was just a mannequin, and asked a teen delivering papers to help him throw it out. With a tuft of whitish-gray hair and some fake-looking blood, the body weighed almost nothing, Benjamin says, and the two tossed it into a dumpster.

But, uh, it turns out that "mannequin" was actually the body of a 96-year-old English resident who'd jumped 16 stories to her death, a suicide note found in her apartment later confirmed. Police were called in after a maintenance worker spotted the body, WTSP reports. "I'm telling you, I swear to God, the face looked like a rubber mask," Benjamin, who has since been fired, tells the Times. And police believe his story. "Because of the height the woman fell it actually might have caused her features to be distorted, and possibly not look human to the unsuspecting eye," a police rep explains. Officers add, per USA Today, that rigor mortis had set in, which could've added to the mannequin-like feel of the body.

A Waste Management dumpster is full at the end of the day in Houston Thursday, April 26, 2007.
A Waste Management dumpster is full at the end of the day in Houston Thursday, April 26, 2007.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
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