Groundskeeper Mistakes Dead Body for Halloween Decorations

( — Police in North Carolina this week released the name of the man whose half-naked body was found near an abandoned log cabin last week in China Grove, WBTV in Charlotte reported.

The body of Robert Paul Owens, 34, was first discovered on Monday, October 9, by the man who came to mow the lawn. However, the police weren’t called until the following day because the lawn care employee who initially saw the body believed it was either a dummy propped up for a Halloween display or possibly a mannequin used for police K-9 training that takes place on the property, so he simply mowed around it.

On Tuesday, October 10, a construction worker arrived at the property, saw the body, and called the police. Responding officers found Owens lying face down and half naked in the grass, stripped of his possessions.

The body was transported to Raleigh for an autopsy. Preliminary findings ruled out signs of trauma or assault.

Investigators are waiting for toxicology results to determine Owens’ cause of death.

China Grove Police Chief Andrew Deal told WBTV that while there are no immediate signs of foul play, Owens’ death is being investigated as suspicious.

According to Owens’ sister, the construction worker who reported finding his body said there were cuts and scrapes on his arm, which appeared to be defensive injuries.

In a GoFundMe page set up to pay for Owens’ funeral expenses, the family expressed dismay that the lawn care worker would assume that the “half-naked dead body with scratches and glass around it” was a Halloween decoration or a mannequin.

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