Lara Cerri / Tampa Bay Times

Published: Apr 08, 2014 6:58 AM EDT

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Residents of a St. Petersburg high-rise apartment complex are rallying in support of a front desk clerk who was fired after mistaking the body of a woman who'd committed suicide for a mannequin.
Officials say 61-year-old Ronald Benjamin spotted the body of the 96-year-old victim in the parking lot early on the morning of April 2. Benjamin thought it was a mannequin, placed there as an April Fool's Day prank.
He later enlisted a newspaper carrier and her teenage son to toss the mannequin in a trash bin.
Turns out Nancy Yates had left a suicide note in her 16th floor apartment.
The Tampa Bay Times ( ) reports 83-year-old Anne Desrosier is circulating a petition asking the management company to rehire Benjamin. She considers his dismissal "corporate thinking."
Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.),

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)