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Clerk mistakes suicide victim for April Fools' prank

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Authorities say a clerk who thought the dead body of a woman was a mannequin placed outside an apartment complex as an April Fools' Day prank enlisted the help of two others to throw the body into a dumpster.

St. Petersburg police reported in a news release that the Peterborough Apartments clerk first spotted the 96-year-old woman's body during a smoke break around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. Thinking it was a joke, he returned to work without notifying anyone. Two hours later, another employee told the clerk about the body, but he insisted it was a prank. The clerk and a couple delivering newspapers then moved the body to a nearby dumpster.

According to CBS affiliate WTSP, detectives believe the clerk and another man who assisted in moving the victim possibly mistook the victim for a mannequin because rigor mortis had set in.

Finally around 8 p.m., a maintenance worker saw the body in the dumpster and realized it wasn't a mannequin.

Police found a suicide note in the woman's apartment. It appeared she used a stool to jump from the 16th-floor window.

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