An investigation is underway in Montreal, Canada, after a dead body was misidentified as a Mannequin by local firefighters. At first, the body of a missing Sherbrooke local woman was tossed in a dumpster.
“We are obviously sorry for this situation,” the head of the Sherbrooke police service Danny McConnell, said Thursday at a televised press conference. “Rest assured that the family was notified at every key point in the investigation.”
On 10:04 am Friday, a local fire department received a call about a brush fire that reportedly started behind a factory, according to McConnell. Initially, it was believed that someone burned a silicone mannequin, according to what witnesses told firefighters at the scene of the incident.
When police arrived, the decision was made to place the presumed mannequin into a police department container that was placed in a closed-off area away from the general public.
After 2:15 pm Friday, police received a call from a local man reporting his wife missing. The missing woman resembled the presumed mannequin.
McConnell said when the victim’s cellphone signal last pinged around the scene of the fire. They located her vehicle close by.
Around 6:30 pm, police went to pick up the presumed mannequin to see if it happened to be the missing woman. It was discovered to be the body of the woman. Police immediately contacted the coroners office, the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales and the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes.
According to McConnell, the Sherbrooke police department is currently assisting the coroner in the investigation.
Fire department head Stéphane Simoneau described the incident as “unusual to say the least, perhaps shocking.” He added, “I’m quite stunned by the news, and this applies to my entire service. First responders are in a state of shock.”
Law enforcement is “taking the situation very seriously,” according to Simoneau.
Simoneau or McConnell have not given any further details because of the ongoing investigation.