Human Remains Mistaken for Mannequin Tossed Out

Workers in Hernando County found what authorities say is the partially mummified body of a suicide victim.

Mummified human remains were found hanging in a Spring Hill garage.
Mummified human remains were found hanging in a Spring Hill garage.

It looked like a Halloween hoax gone awry.

That’s why two workers hired to clean out a rental property on Treehaven Drive in Spring Hill cut down the “mannequin” hanging in the garage and took it to the dump. But, Hernando County Sheriff’s officials say that “mannequin” is actually the remains of former tenant Jeremy Witsoth, 33.

The incident began to unfold Thursday just before noon when employees at the West Hernando Transfer Station called the sheriff’s office about possible human remains. While deputies were at the dump, the person who dropped off the body returned with another load of trash, an email to media from the sheriff’s office stated.

In questioning the worker, Israel Lopez, 50, deputies discovered the man and co-worker, Adam Hines, 30, were hired to clean out the house and came across the mannequin hanging in the garage.

“Both individuals as well as the property owners believed the lifelike mannequin was a distasteful ‘Halloween-like’ hoax left by the former renters,” the email said. “They cut the mannequin down, placed it on top of a pile of garbage in the back of the pick-up truck and proceeded to the landfill.”

Investigators say the remains belong to the Witsoth

“All indications are that Witsoth took his own life by hanging sometime within the last several weeks,” the email said. “His body was in a state of decomposition similar to mummification. “ 

While the investigation continues, The Tampa Tribune is reporting that a suicide note as left scrawled on a wall of the Treehaven Drive home. Witsoth shared the home with his former girlfriend and several children.

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