Canadian police and firefighters have mistaken a woman's body for a mannequin and dumped her remains into the garbage. The bakery factory was visited by police and firefighters who extinguished the fire.
At the time, officials assumed the burned woman was a life-size silicon doll or a commercial mannequin. On Thursday, Sherbrooke Police Chief Danny McConnell said at a press conference, "When they arrived, witnesses declared that someone had lit a silicone mannequin on fire."
A reported missing woman was mistook for a mannequin
According to McConnell, the incident occurred on July 23 in a city about 150 kilometers east of Montreal. Last Friday, a woman's burned body was mistaken for a mannequin and dumped in the garbage at the Sherbrooke police station. After discussing with one another, it was decided that the dummy should be discarded in an outdoor dumpster at the police station, which is not open to the public.
It wasn't until 6:30 p.m., four hours after receiving the missing person complaint, that police discovered the assumed mannequin was actually a deceased woman. They immediately informed the coroner's office, which is currently investigating the event with the Sherbrooke police department, The Sun reported.
The fire chief, Stéphane Simoneau, promised to "shed light" on the sequence of events, which he described as "strange, to say the least, possibly startling." The authorities were taking the matter extremely seriously, he remarked.
Per Global News via MSN, McConnell apologized to the woman's husband and children during a press conference with the city's fire chief and a senior city official on Thursday. Witnesses said a silicone mannequin had been set on fire, so firefighters were dispatched to a brush fire behind a factory just after 10 a.m. on July 23, McConnell said.
Authorities apologize, pledge to clear the "lack of transparency"
After mistaking the burned body of a missing woman for a mannequin and tossing it in the garbage, police, and firefighters in Canada apologized. Stéphane Simoneau, the chief of the Sherbrooke fire department, also spoke out on Thursday, saying he wanted to share the specifics of the incident with the public and address what he called a lack of transparency with the public.
Simoneau expressed his shock at the discovery, saying that his whole team, department, and others who were present that day were in shock. Certain emotions overtook people, so they had to handle the situation to mentally stabilize their teams, which is precisely what they are doing, the fire department chief added.
The name of the missing woman was not revealed by McConnell, who stated the city coroner was launching an inquiry. Details regarding the incident, which happened on Friday, were only made public nearly a week later, allowing the police and fire chiefs to speak to the public.
Sherbrook's fire department sought to address the "lack of transparency." Flowers were put in the wooded area where the ground was burned, and the woman's body was discovered.
Police and firefighters' department both declined to provide any further information regarding this matter, as per Daily Mail. Details about the woman's death will be released after the coroner's inquiry is completed, said a spokesperson for the coroner's office.