Canadian police, firefighters mistook a woman’s burnt corpse for a mannequin, threw it into DUMPSTER
Canadian firefighters and police mistook the burnt corpse of a missing woman for a mannequin and toss it into a DUMPSTER
- Danny McConnell, chief of police in Quebec City Sherbrooke, apologized for the accident
- Last Friday morning, he said, firefighters were called to reports of a forest fire behind a bakery in the central part of the city
- Witnesses there told them they had seen someone who they believed set fire to a silicone mannequin
- When police arrived, first responders from both departments agreed the body was a mannequin
- They then deposited the body in a dumpster outside police headquarters
- It wasn’t until a man reported his wife missing later in the day that the police began to realize their mistake
- After tracking the victim’s cell phone signal to the scene of the fire, officers decided to re-examine the body and discovered that they had made a mistake.
Police and firefighters in Canada apologized after they mistook the burnt corpse of a missing woman for a mannequin and threw it into a dumpster.
Danny McConnell, chief of police in Quebec City Sherbrooke, told reporters on Thursday that firefighters responded to a report of a wildfire behind a bakery on Cabana Street around 10 a.m. last Friday.
When firefighters arrived, witnesses told them they thought someone burned a silicone mannequin behind the factory.
Police joined the fire department, and officers and firefighters agreed that the body was a mannequin and that they would place it in a container at police headquarters, which McConnell said was off-limits to the public. .
Police and firefighters in Quebec City Sherbrooke placed the burned body of a woman in a dumpster (pictured) outside the police station last Friday, mistakenly assuming it was a mannequin.
Sherbrooke Police Chief Danny McConnell (pictured) apologized for the confusion on Thursday
The container was reportedly a dumpster, according to Radio Canada.
McConnell said that around 10:45 a.m., firefighters arrived at police headquarters with what they still believed to be a mannequin and placed it in the dumpster just outside.
However, they wouldn’t begin to realize their mistake until four hours later when at 2:15 p.m. a resident reported their wife missing.
After investigating, they followed the woman’s cell phone signal and were led to her car, which was parked near the site of the fire that morning.
At the time, McConnell said an officer responding to the fire pointed out that the two events may not have been coincidental.
It wasn’t until around 6:30 p.m. that police decided to remove the “alleged mannequin,” McConnell said, from the container and investigate further, and discovered that it was the missing woman’s body.
“We are, of course, sorry for this situation and can be assured that the family has been informed at every key point in the investigation,” the chief said.
First responders had been called to a bushfire outside a bakery on Cabana Street (pictured) in the central part of the city
Stéphane Simoneau, Sherbrooke’s fire chief, also spoke on Thursday and said he wanted to share the details of the accident with the public, as well as resolve a lack of transparency with the public, Radio Canada reported.
“I am quite stunned by this news and I can say that my entire team, the entire department, as well as those who were there that day, are in shock,” he said, pointing out that questions remained about how such a mistake could have taken place.
Simoneau also said the incident had a psychological impact on first responders.
“People were overcome with certain emotions, so we have to manage that situation to stabilize our teams psychologically, and that’s what we did,” he said.
McConnell has not revealed the identity of the missing woman and said the city coroner was investigating.
Both declined to provide further details about the incident.
A spokesman for the coroner said details about the woman’s death would be released once the investigation is complete.