Bradenton woman who hid body in trash can to keep disability checks is hit with more charges, deputies say

Manatee County

(Source: Manatee County Sheriff’s Office)

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — The Bradenton woman accused of hiding her roommate’s body in a trash can so that she could steal his disability checks was hit with more charges this week, authorities said.

Michelle Haney, 42, was arrested in December after the decomposing body of her roommate, John Christopher Leonard, was found inside a trash can at her neighbor’s home in the Windmill Manor mobile home park, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said Haney’s neighbor told investigators she brought him the trash can and asked him to store it in his carport. He thought it would be filled with “personal items,” then he started smelling a foul odor.

Deputies said Leonard had been dead since July, and appeared to have died from natural causes.

Haney later admitted to hiding her roommate’s body so that she could collect his disability checks. She told detectives that she discovered the body in July, and had hid it in a closet for three weeks before wrapping it up and putting it in the trash bin.

Haney was arrested in December on a charge of abusing a dead human body.

Investigators later reviewed Leonard’s bank statements and discovered that Haney had spent more than $6,300 in disability income meant for her roommate, which should have been terminated when he died.

Haney is also now charged with criminal use of personal identification of a deceased individual and scheme to defraud, the sheriff’s office said Thursday. She remains behind bars at the Manatee County jail.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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