Body found in Bradenton trash can identified; woman charged

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Bradenton woman was charged with abuse of a corpse after detectives discovered she stored a 40-year-old man’s body in a trash can after he died to keep collecting his social security benefits.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Michelle Haney, 48, Wednesday after discovering she had been storing the body of Jon Christopher Leonard in a trash can at a neighbor’s house.

The sheriff’s office said Leonard had been dead since sometime in July, when he died of what appears to be natural causes.

Haney, who had been living with Leonard at the time, reportedly told detectives that back in July she found him deceased inside their home at 5023 Windmill Manor Ave. Instead of calling police, detectives said she stored his body in a closet, then three weeks later put it inside a trash can, sealed it up, then took it to a neighbor’s house.

She reportedly told the neighbor, who was unaware of what was inside, that she’d be back to pick it up later.

The sheriff’s office said Haney admitted to deputies that she did it so she could keep using his social security benefits after he died.

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