Suspected April Fools' Prank Turns Out to Be Something Much Worse (VIDEO)

elderly woman diesA small community of residents is wondering what could have led to a grim incident this week. When Petersborough Apartments desk clerk Ronald Benjamin saw a strange shape on the patio Wednesday morning, he thought it was just part of an April Fools' joke from the night before. The shape looked like a mannequin, so Benjamin and a visitor carried it out to a dumpster. But it was actually the body of a 96-year-old woman. How she ended up on that patio in the first place will break your heart.


Other workers at the complex discovered the body in the dumpster and realized it was a human body. Apparently the woman had jumped to her death from a window, 16 stories above. She left a suicide note, but her name has not been released. Residents describe her as a bright woman who read a lot. How could Benjamin have mistaken her for a mannequin?

That question haunts Benjamin -- and will probably haunt him for the rest of his life. He says her face looked like a mask. "I'm telling you, I swear to God, the face looked like a rubber mask," he says. "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 say it's possible the woman's fall could have distorted her face.

I also think that encountering a dead body is such a surreal, unlikely event, it just didn't occur to Benjamin that that's what actually happened. The poor guy even saw some blood but assumed it was fake. Because WHY would there be a dead body and blood there?

Benjamin has been fired, and the residents who knew the elderly woman are now wondering why she committed suicide. The librarian says the last time she saw the woman, she appeared "upbeat." But I think this is a reminder of how difficult old age can be. We have no idea how this woman was really feeling or what physical issues she was dealing with.

Can you see how the employee could have made this mistake, or do you think he should have known?

Please call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in case you are worried about yourself or someone else.


Image via Tampa Bay

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