Patrick Henderson 'huffing' death: Man charged with 'huffing' three times in one week found dead

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -- Patrick Henderson, a 29-year-old recently arrested three times in one week for huffing dust cleaner in the parking lot of department stores, has died.

Authorities say his decomposing body was found Saturday, lying face-down in the backseat of a Ford Explorer in the parking lot of a T.J. Maxx in Boynton Beach. Investigators later found several empty aerosol canisters in the Explorer.

It is unknown how long Henderson's body had been in the parking lot, where an off-duty Fort Lauderdale Police officer had been walking around 3 p.m. Saturday, when she suddenly encountered a terrible stench.

"[She] smelled the distinct odor of human body decomposition," said Boynton Beach Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater.

The off-duty officer followed the odor to a maroon 2002 Ford Explorer parked a few steps away. She looked through the Explorer's windows and saw a person lying face-down against the backseat door.

Authorities pronounced Henderson dead a short time later.

"There were several cans of aerosol dust cleaner throughout the car," Slater said.

The discovery of the 29-year-old Delray Beach man's body came less than two weeks after he made headlines for landing in the Palm Beach County Jail three times in less than a week.

Henderson's troubles began Nov. 24, in the parking lot of a Staples office supply store in Delray Beach. There, police say officers found him huffing Dust Destroyer, a popular aerosol office cleaner.

Police immediately charged Henderson with huffing dangerous chemicals, and booked him into the Palm Beach County Jail. About two hours later, he posted bond and went on his way.

Less than 24 hours later, police say, Henderson walked into a Target, bought four more cans of dust remover and got high again.

But Henderson, 29, caught the attention of several people in the parking lot. Witnesses called Boynton Beach police and reported a man sitting in a maroon Ford Explorer, huffing chemicals out of what looked like a can of whipped cream.

An officer soon found a groggy and lethargic Henderson sitting in the car with a can of 3M Dust Remover in his lap.

Henderson landed in jail again. He stayed behind bars for three days, until deputies released him Wednesday.

Less than 24 hours later, on Nov. 29, a Boynton Beach police officer rolled past a maroon Ford Explorer in the 1600 block of Renaissance Commons Boulevard. There was Henderson again. He was, according to police, "convulsing."

The officer walked toward the car and witnessed Henderson "bring a white canister to his mouth/nose area," an arrest report says.

"It appeared as though Henderson was doing what is known as 'huffing,' " an officer wrote in the report.

Police arrested Henderson and searched the car, where officers say they found several 10-ounce cans of Office Depot cleaning duster.

"One was found to be cold," the report says, "due to it being just used, and one was empty on the front passenger seat."

Officers then booked Henderson into jail. He posted bond four hours later.


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