Police recover body believed to be stolen for insurance fraud

June 8, 2005, 11:25 PM

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — The body of an 86-year-old man found in a trash bin behind a Detroit drugstore was dumped there by someone who had stolen it from a hospital morgue with the intention of fraudulently collecting life insurance, police said.

Police arrested two Detroit men, ages 31 and 22, on Wednesday, the same day the body was discovered.

Police said the men, along with another suspect, posed as funeral home workers when they went to Providence Hospital in Southfield about 11:30 p.m. EDT Sunday and later took the body. The elderly man had died at the hospital of natural causes, investigators said.

Southfield Police Sgt. Robert Shelied said the men planned to take the stolen body to a funeral home, claim it was that of a man for whom they had purchased a life insurance policy, obtain a death certificate, then cash in the policy.

“In my 18 1/2 years as a police officer, I’ve never seen anything, or heard anything, like this,” Shelied said. “It’s very upsetting.”