Home worker mistakes resident's corpse for April Fool's prank, tosses it in dumpster

Peterborough Apartments. (Tampa Bay Times video screenshot)

Peterborough Apartments. (Tampa Bay Times video screenshot)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:50 PM ET

An employee at a Florida seniors' home apparently mistook the body of a dead resident for an April Fool's joke and tossed it in the trash.

Ronald Benjamin, 61, was on a smoke break outside Peterborough Apartments, in St. Petersburg, when he spotted a lifeless shape on the patio, which he promptly concluded was a mannequin left by an April Fool's Day prankster, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

He disposed of the corpse, which was that of a 96-year-old resident who had jumped 16 storeys to her death after leaving behind a suicide note.

When other employees discovered the body in the dumpster, Benjamin was called in and fired.

"I'm telling you, I swear to God, the face looked like a rubber mask," he told the paper. "If I thought for one instant it was a real person I would have called the police, my manager, everyone I could think of."

Police believed him and don't plan to lay any criminal charges, the report said.


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