Florida Woman Hides Body In Trash Can, Steals Benefits

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Kyle Heckman Contributor
Font Size:

Deputies in Manatee County, Florida, arrested a 48-year-old woman Wednesday night after she told investigators she found a man dead in his home and hid the body in order to steal Social Security benefits, according to Manatee County Police.

Michelle Haney was taken into custody after telling investigators she found the body of Jon Christopher Leonard, a 39 year old man, dead in his home. After finding Leonard, Haney then hid his body in the closet for three weeks before moving it to 55-gallon trash can. She then left the trash can at a neighbors, who was unaware of the contents, telling them she would pick it up later. (RELATED: Florida Man Arrested For Suspected Sword Murder Tells Police He Killed 6 Others)

The body was discovered by a Manatee County resident Tuesday, who opened the trash can after Haney had not returned for two months, to reveal Leonard inside.

The man told authorities he was “holding it for a friend.”

An autopsy is going to be conducted to determine Leonard’s cause of death. The Herald-Tribune reports that Haney has been charged with abuse of a dead human body, with more charges expected to come.

Haney admitted she did not report finding the body to authorities so she could could Leonard’s Social Security benefits, reports the Orlando Sentinel.