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Police Explained How A Quebecer's Body Was Mistaken For A Mannequin & Thrown In The Trash

First responders mistook the woman's body for a silicone mannequin.

Sherbrooke Police Explain Mistaking A Body For A Mannequin

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Police services in Sherbrooke held a press conference this past Thursday to explain how first responders mistakenly threw away the charred body of a woman into a dumpster at a nearby police station. First responders on the scene believed the body to be a silicone mannequin.

On July 29, the Service de police de Sherbrooke (SPS) and the Service de protection contre les incendies de la Ville de Sherbrooke (SPCIS) recounted the events to reporters as they apologized, said they were stunned and expressed "wholehearted" support for the victim's family.

What happened?

At approximately 10:04 a.m. on July 23, the SPCIS was called to a fire in a wooded area at the intersection of Rue Roy and Rue Cabana. Witnesses reportedly saw a person burning a silicone dummy.

Sherbrooke police were called to assist — within minutes of their arrival, both agencies decided to dispose of what appeared to be a dummy in the SPS garbage disposal, which is not accessible to the public.

At approximately 2:15 p.m., a man in psychological distress contacted the SPS to report his wife missing.

After launching an investigation, the SPS used the woman's cellphone signal to locate her car, which was found on Rue Cabana, near where the fire first responders had located the same morning.

"At approximately 6:30 p.m., the decision was made to retrieve the alleged mannequin to see if it was contributing to the search," said Danny McConnell, Sherbrooke police chief.

After recovering the alleged mannequin, responders realized that the body belonged to that of the missing 64-year-old woman — she reportedly died by suicide upon setting herself on fire, though an investigation is still ongoing.

The Sûreté du Québec have reportedly been asked to assist the coroner's office in the investigation of the woman's death.

"We take the situation very seriously," said SPCIS director Stéphane Simoneau.

"I am personally committed to getting to the bottom of this intervention, which is unusual, to say the least, perhaps shocking."