‘Mannequin’ was really a dead person – An honest mistake

Workers cleaning up a house dispose of a fake “body” in a dumpster. Turns out it wasn’t fake.

‘Mannequin’ dumped at Florida landfill was ‘mummified’ man – chicagotribune.com.

Two men hired to clean out a Florida rental house thought they found a mannequin hanging in the garage so they cut down what they believed to be a Halloween-style prank and took it to a landfill.

It turns out that it was a suicide victim. The men truly thought it was not real and will not be charged with a crime. Even the property owner thought it was fake. The body was taken to the landfill with the other garbage. Landfill workers found it and contacted police.

It’s believed the dead man, Jeremy Witfoth, 33, had hanged himself within the past several weeks. He apparently did not live there but was occupying the vacant house. The cleaning crew thought the smell was related to the garbage and rats. The body had dried out from hanging.

Body mistaken for mannequin, taken to landfill.

Back in April, a body in a parking lot in the same region was thought to be a prank. Rigor mortis had set in on a suicidal woman’s body which was thrown into a dumpster. It wasn’t a prank. Maybe the lesson here is if it looks like a body, call police first.

Comments are tightly moderated. Please follow the Comment Policy.
This is not a forum or free-for-all. Only thoughtful additions and pertinent opinions will be approved.

  5 comments for “‘Mannequin’ was really a dead person – An honest mistake

  1. Barry
    July 20, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    It’s really hard to believe that somebody would mistake an 80 kg soft, semi-flexible human being for an 18 kg rigid, hard plastic mannequin. From a distance, maybe. But once you’ve lifted & handled it?

    • Cathy
      July 20, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Maybe it has just as much to do with what they want to believe. I think I’d rather find a Halloween style prank than a dead body.

    • TheWhitefire
      July 21, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      Your post makes a lot of assumptions. Such as the fact that a mummified body is ‘semi-flexible,’ or the fact that all mannequins must be made of rigid hard plastic. The halloween style mannequins usually aren’t rigid, to make them swing around more.

    • K Friesen
      July 23, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      If the body had dried out sufficiently, as maybe the garage was hot (it is summer, after all, and a living body is over 70% water), it may well have been much lighter, and more rigid than a “fresh” body”. This would only add to their impression that it was a mannequin. Just a thought

  2. David H
    July 21, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Sometimes plenty of people get fooled. Ever hear of Elmer McCurdy?

    http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/grave-elmer-mccurdy-skb

Comments are closed.