BRADENTON, Florida — A ghoulish Florida grifter hid her dead housemate’s body in a garbage bin for months so she could keep collecting social security payments, police said.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s office says Michelle Haney, 48, admitted she found 39-year-old Jon Leonard dead back in July in the mobile home they shared.
But instead of calling police, she first hid his body in a closet for three weeks. When the smell became too unbearable, she moved Leonard’s corpse to a sealed trash can, police said.
Haney then took the trash can to a neighbor’s house and asked if she could store it in his carport for a while. The neighbor agreed, but when she didn’t return for it after several months, the man opened it up and smelled a foul odor, so he called the police.
Investigators discovered a body in an advanced state of decomposition.
Haney told detectives that she failed to report Leonard’s death in order to continue to collect his social security payments.
She has been charged with abusing a dead body and will likely face other charges, cops said.
Leonard’s exact cause of death has yet to be determined pending the completion of an autopsy.