Ronald Benjamin: St. Petersburg clerk who mistook body for mannequin fired

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Tribune reports a 61-year-old front desk clerk has been fired after mistaking the body of a tenant for a mannequin and then throwing it in a trash bin.

Ronald Benjamin told police he saw the body in the parking lot of the 16-story St. Petersburg apartment building early Wednesday and assumed someone put a mannequin there as part of an April Fool's Day prank.

A co-worker arrived and told him a body was in the parking lot but he insisted it was a mannequin. He got a newspaper carrier and her son to help him toss the body in the garbage. A maintenance worker saw the body and called authorities.

Police say a 96-year-old woman committed suicide by jumping from her apartment balcony.

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