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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Elderly woman who leapt to death named

ST. PETERSBURG — The woman who leapt to her death and whose body was mistaken for a mannequin was identified Friday as Nancy Yates, 96.

A neighbor told police that Yates, who lived alone in Apt. 1604, on the 16th floor of Peterborough apartments. had been admitted to St. Anthony's Hospital for depression last week, police said.

After her body was discovered Wednesday, a St. Petersburg police officer went into her locked apartment and found a screen removed from a 4-by-4-foot window, the window open, and a curtain pulled aside. Yates had used a small wood stepping stool to hoist herself out the window, according to a police report.

Sarah Ford, 84, who lived next to Yates in Apt. 1605, told police she knew Yates for a year and a half, and often checked on her. She said Yates had health problems and recently was suffering from “extreme depression,” the report states.

Ford said Yates recently had the stomach flu, and had become even more depressed, the report states.

Ford told police she was supposed to take Yates to a doctor's appointment at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, but Yates called her at noon to say she had cancelled the appointment, the report states.

“Ford thought it was due to the stomach virus and did not think it was due to the depression since Yates was on medication for the depression,” the report states.

The next morning, front desk clerk Ronald Benjamin, 61, saw Yates' body in the parking lot, but dismissed it as a mannequin placed there as an April Fool's Day joke. Later, Benjamin, with the help of a woman and her teenage son delivering newspapers, put Yates' body in a trash bin, the report states.

Benjamin has since been fired.


Several neighbors told police Yates, who went by “Nan,” was upset because her sink had overflowed on March 24, flooding several apartments.

One of the residents, Virginia Burget, 84, who lived directly below her, said she was not cross with her.

“Ms. Yates was thought of highly by everyone,” Burget said. “I do know she was in the hospital and I asked her how she was doing and she said fine.”

John Rindahl, 77, said his apartment also flooded,

“As I understand it, she placed a bowl or dish over the drain in the sink, turned the water on and walked away,” Rindahl said.

“I'm sure she felt bad about it,” he said.

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