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Frozen dead body ignored for month in Detroit warehouse

By Chris V. Thangham     Jan 31, 2009 in Crime
A man fell in an elevator shaft in an abandoned warehouse, but the homeless strangers in the building ignored him, a group played ice hockey around him, and police ignored it for more than 24 hours. They finally retrieved his frozen body recently.
The frozen body of Johnnie Redding would have remained even longer if not for a call to a local reporter, Charlie LeDuff of The stranger was a friend of an explorer, who takes pictures of abandoned buildings.
The explorer. instead of calling the police after seeing the dead bod,y played a hockey game with his fellow explorers in the ice that was collected at the basement of the building.
The caller told the reporter about Redding’s dead body:
He's encased in ice, except his legs, which are sticking out like Popsicle sticks.
He said his friend didn’t call the police because he didn’t want to get into trouble with the law.
The body, except for the legs, was encased in 2 to 3 feet of ice, and the police had to use saws to retrieve the body.
The photo is in the article but it is very graphic.
It is not clear Redding was murdered or he fell accidentally, but it appears he was hanging around the building, which the homeless used it as a temporary home.
The homeless people in the building said they saw the body but didn’t call the police because they didn’t have a quarter to call them. But 911 calls are free to the public. One said he had seen the body lying around for about a month but like others he didn’t call the police, and he thought it was a dummy.
The elevator shaft was apparently left open and water had collected there, which later turned to ice.
The reporter than called 911 but didn’t say to them that he was from Detroit News; the 911 rep told him that they will send police but they didn’t show up until 24 hours later.
LeDuff aptly calls it “Frozen in indifference”.
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