• Residents want fired desk clerk rehired after mistaking body for mannequin

    Updated:

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Residents of a St. Petersburg high-rise apartment complex are rallying in support of a front desk clerk who was fired after mistaking the body of a woman who'd committed suicide for a mannequin.

    Officials said 61-year-old Ronald Benjamin spotted the body of the 96-year-old victim in the parking lot early on the morning of April 2. Benjamin thought it was a mannequin, placed there as an April Fool's Day prank.

    He later enlisted a newspaper carrier and her teenage son to toss the mannequin in a trash bin.

    A maintenance worker saw the body and called authorities. Turns out Nancy Yates had left a suicide note in her 16th floor apartment.

    The Tampa Bay Times reports 83-year-old Anne Desrosier is circulating a petition asking the management company to rehire Benjamin. She considers his dismissal "corporate thinking."

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