The incident happed a little after 10 a.m on Friday, July 23, after a fire started behind a factory street in Quebec's Cabana Way area.
Trigger Warning: This story contains graphic details that readers may find disturbing
In a grizzly discovery, a woman's charred remains were found in a dumpster after firefighters mistook it for a mannequin. The shocking incident unfolded in Canada following a miscommunication between local police, who were informed about a missing person, and firefighters, who arrived at the location to put out a fire at a clothing factory. The case is now being investigated by the Quebec coroner's office. Speaking to the Montreal Gazette, Sherbrooke police service chief Danny McConnell apologized for the blunder. "We are obviously sorry for this situation. Rest assured that the family was notified at every key point in the investigation," he said.
According to The Sun, the incident happed a little after 10 a.m on Friday, July 23. Firefighters were called to the side to tame a fire that had started behind a factory street in Quebec's Cabana Way area. On arrival, witnesses told firefighters that they saw someone setting fire to a silicone mannequin, per TVA Nouvelles. A few moments later, local police officers also arrived at the place and had a word with the firefighters. On hearing the situation, they decided to place the supposed mannequin in a police department container away from public view. This contained was reportedly a dumpster placed just outside police headquarters, reports Radio Canada.
It wasn't until four hours later that officials realized their mistake when a man called in to report his wife missing. He called at 2:15 p.m. and said that his wife had suddenly disappeared, according to Daily Mail. Following this, responding officers raised doubts about the two incidents not being coincidental. This is when they decided to collect the mannequin and examine it further. It wasn't until 6:30 p.m., i.e. four hours after receiving the missing person report, that officers picked up the missing woman's body that they had presumed to be a mannequin.
On taking a good look at her image, officers noticed the resemblance between the missing woman and the mannequin. Their doubts soon turned into concern after they traced her phone and found her car near the fire that had occurred. Apparently, it was the missing woman's deceased body and the coroner's officer is currently working with Sherbrooke's police department to investigate the incident. With that, the head of the fire department Stéphane Simoneau has vowed to "shed light" on the events that ultimately led to her gruesome death.
Missing woman's burned body thrown in trash after firefighters mistook her for a mannequin https://t.co/3NOs8NcA8i— The Sun (@TheSun) July 30, 2021
Describing the circumstances surrounding her death as "unusual to say the least, perhaps shocking," he said, "I’m quite stunned by the news, and this applies to my entire service." Simoneau went on to reveal how shocked his employees are realizing that the presumed mannequin was actually a dead woman's body. "First responders are in a state of shock," he shared. He also said that the incident had a psychological impact on the first responders. "People were overcome by certain emotions, so we have to manage that situation in order to stabilize our teams, psychologically, and that's what we've been doing," he said, adding that authorities are "taking the situation very seriously."
Representative cover image source: Getty | Photo by RichLegg