Two Florida men who were hired to clean up an unoccupied Tampa Bay house believed they had discovered a mannequin outside hanging in the garage when it was actually instead a dead body. They proceeded to cut it down and took it to a local dump, where landfill workers recognized it was human.
On Thursday, Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies stated that the body belonged to Jeremy Allen Witfoth, age 33. He had been a prior renter, and it appeared he had hanged himself a number of weeks ago and was now in a state of decomposition comparable to mummification.
Adam Hines and Israel Lopez explained to Tampa Bay police authorities they believed the previous renters had left behind some sort of Halloween type hoax. Lopez had taken debris to the landfill while Hines kept cleaning at the home.
When landfill workers saw the remains, they quickly dialed the Sheriff’s office and deputies were dispatched to the scene. Lopez was interrogated after he brought a second load to the dump as were Hines and the property owner.
This ended up being the second time that a dead body was mistaken for a mannequin in Florida. Back in April, in St. Petersburg, the body of an elderly woman, age 96, who had jumped to her death was erroneously mistaken for an April Fools’ prank and her remains were tossed into an apartment complex dumpster. The security guard who removed the body ended up being fired.
As for the Tampa Bay case, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis spoke at a press conference on Thursday evening and said that the event was obviously very unusual and extremely hard to believe.
Lopez, age 50, and Hines, age 36, were hired to clean out the vacant home at 6527 Treehaven Drive. The house was in complete disorder, Sheriff Nienhuis added, saying it was basically a hoard. Dead rodents were all around the inside of the home and the two workers thought that was where the foul smells were coming from. Each man as well as the property owner thought Witfoth’s body was a mannequin and was basically a repulsive Halloween trick that had been left behind by the former renters.
The sheriff declared that the two workers just made an honest mistake and all the evidence points to the fact that no crime was committed. He also explained that it was important to realize that the majority of individuals have only ever seen deceased bodies of people who have recently passed or they view them at funeral homes. Witfoth’s remains were not whatsoever close to being like those. They were actually beginning to mummify.
At the house on Thursday, a forensic specialist and detectives worked inside the garage, which was muddled with old clothes, boxes and trash. A neighbor stated that the home had always been a sketchy place. He explained that he had seen law enforcement cars there many times in the past along with one from a child services agency. He said he also noticed a family with children about the house but had not seen anyone on the property for about two months.
Repeating: two Florida men who were hired to clean up an unoccupied Tampa Bay house believed they had discovered a mannequin outside in the garage when it was instead the deceased body of Jeremy Allen Witfoth. They proceeded to cut it down and took it to a local dump, where landfill workers recognized it was human.
By Kimberly Ruble