In a tragic incident just after April Fool’s day, a worker mistook a 96-year-old suicide victim’s body as a mannequin and threw it in a dumpster. The clerk, who has been since then fired thought the body and the set up was part of an elaborate April Fool’s prank. According to Yahoo, the incident happened at the Peterborough Apartments for seniors in St. Petersburg, Florida.
WFTS ABC Action News reports that the 61-year-old clerk discovered the dead body at around 4:30 a.m. when he was out to take a smoke break. According to a St.Petersburg Police Department spokesman, the clerk’s first reaction to the body was that it was part of an April Fool prank. He then took the help of two newspaper delivery people who helped him carry the body and throw it into a dumpster. The date was April 2 – a few hours past April Fool’s day.
It was only by daybreak, at 8 am that another worker, an apartment maintenance person saw the body and identified it as that of a human. Police was called in following which they identified the woman to be a resident of the apartment. The police, who has not named the victim has since then tried to contact the next of kin of the lady. Police also say that the woman was suffering from depression and took the extreme step after leaving a suicide note.
Meanwhile, a memorial has been laid outside the building where the woman lived.
While it is preposterous to think that the clerk thought it was a mannequin and not a real body, he could be given the benefit of doubt owing to the fact that April Fool’s pranks have become elaborate set ups nowadays. While there was blood near the body of the woman following the impact after the fall from the 16th floor, he considered it all a part of the April Fool “prank”. Also, it was quite dark at the time of the discovery of the body. Another factor is the fact that rigor mortis had set in on the body which made it feel more like a mannequin, than a human body. In an interview to the TampaBay, the worker who has been identified as Ronald Benjamin said the woman’s face looked rubbery and formless, like a Halloween mask discarded on the ground. Also, since it was just a few hours after the bars had let out, he figured someone out for April Fools’ Day had tossed it onto the property.
“I’m telling you, I swear to God, the face looked like a rubber mask. If I thought for one instant it was a real person I would have called the police, my manager, everyone I could think of.”
A statement issued by the St.Petersburg Police Department reads thus;
“It appears at this point that the desk clerk earnestly believed that victim’s body was that of a mannequin and that blood found at the scene was faked as part of an elaborate practical April Fools joke. Consequently no criminal charges will be filed.”
Do you think it was correct to fire the clerk who thought it all was an April Fool’s prank?
[Image via TampaBay]