ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (970 WFLA) – St. Petersburg Police say the body of a suicide victim was mistaken for an April Fools’ prank.
Police say detectives investigated an apparent suicide at an apartment complex off of 4th Ave. North.
Police say the elderly female suicide victim was initially located in the south parking lot of the apartments by a desk clerk taking a smoke break at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Police say the clerk, thinking someone was playing an April Fools’ prank on him, did not alert anyone to the victim's body, but instead returned to his desk duties. Then, police say at about 6:30 a.m., another employee of the apartment building arrived to work, saw the victim's body and alerted the same desk clerk, who told her someone was just playing a prank. Police say the clerk, still believing this was an prank and the body was that of mannequin, then proceeded to place the victim's body in a city dumpster with the assistance of others.
It wasn't until about 8:00 a.m., police say, when an apartment maintenance worker arrived, looked into the dumpster and realized the victim was not a mannequin, but human.
Police are not naming the victim but say a note was left in the apartment and all indications point to her using a stepping stool to help her in climb over a window ledge on the 16th floor and jump to her death.
Police say it appears at this point that the desk clerk earnestly believed that victim's body was that of a mannequin and that blood found at the scene was faked as part of an elaborate practical April Fools’ joke. Consequently, police say no criminal charges will be filed.
Photo Credit 970 WFLA/K. Norman