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A desk clerk at Peterborough Apartments for Seniors in St. Petersburg, Florida threw a suicide victim's body into the dumpster after mistaking it for a mannequin on April Fools' Day.
WFTS ABC Action News reported that the desk clerk was on a break having a smoke around 4:30 a.m. when he first noticed the body, but only thought it was someone playing a joke on him. He then decided to move the body, which he thought was only a mannequin, to the dumpster, along with the help of a 16-year-old newspaper delivery boy.
According to Yahoo! News, a maintenance worker for the apartment complex later realized that the body was actually a human body. Authorities were contacted and identified the body as that of a 96-year-old woman, who jumped from her apartment on the 16th floor. A suicide note was found in her home.
Police believe that the darkness and time of night are contributing factors to the confusion displayed by the desk clerk along with the 16-year-old boy. Other than it being dark, the body was also distorted from the impact of the fall the woman had.
"Most people that are looking at this are going to assume that these people are all fools, but honestly it does appear that this was just an honest mistake," Officer Puetz said, as reported by ABC Action News.
Friends and residents in the Petersborough Apartments for Seniors are in shock by what has happened.
"I was absolutely devastated. She was such a wonderful, upbeat, police, gentle, intellectual woman," said fellow resident, Nancy Sanborn.
ABC Action News noted that a memorial of flowers has been placed outside where the body was found.
No charges have been pressed on the desk clerk or the 16-year-old boy. However, the desk clerk was fired from his position at the apartment complex.