Woman hid husband’s body in trash can to continue collecting his benefits

BRADENTON, FL – A Florida woman was arrested this week after she stuffed her husband’s body into a trash can and brought it to her neighbor’s house in order to continue collecting his Social Security benefits.  The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Michelle Haney, 48 after her neighbor investigated the stench emitting from the trash can where the body was placed by Haney.

She’s facing a charge of “Abusing a corpse”.

Haney’s husband, Christopher Leonard, 40, died of natural causes back in July.  Instead of reporting her husband’s death, she decided to put him in a closet in her home for three weeks.  Realizing she had to get rid of her husband’s body in the closet, she moved his corpse into a garbage can outside three weeks later, police here said.  She then asked her neighbor if she can hold on to the trash can and she’d come back for it.  She never did.  Eventually, the smell of the decomposing body warranted a closer look by the neighbor who discovered the body.

Haney admitted she kept Leonard’s death a secret in order to continue collecting his Social Security benefits. Further charges of federal benefits fraud could be filed by federal authorities.