Dead Bodies and Mike’s Hard Lemonade
Working in law enforcement brings you up close and personal with death. My first dead body came about six months into my career. I was working alone, on the day shift, when I was dispatched to a welfare check for an elderly man who had been out of contact with his relatives for several days.
I drove to the house and knocked on the door. No one answered even after heavy pounding. The front windows were completely blocked by heavy drapes but I could hear the faint murmur of voices. It sounded like a television or radio. I decided to walk around the house and try and see inside.
The front bedroom window was cracked open about two inches and my nose gave me the first clue that I would not interrupt Mr. Roberts’ afternoon siesta. I had never smelled a dead body but was told it was an odor I would identify immediately. Truer words were never spoken.
I did what every rookie officer should do in this situation, I called my supervisor. Sgt. Spears told me he was about two hours from town and explained what I needed to do before he hung up.
I walked around the house, looking for a way to enter. I tried all the doors but they were locked. I went back to the slightly opened window, removed the screen and slid the glass pane wide open. I hoisted myself onto the window’s ledge and squeezed inside.
I found Mr. Roberts in the living room, on the couch, slumped against the cushions. His fixed eyes were staring at the television. I was scientifically examining his remains when the body moved. Air was expelled and bubbles came out his nose. I jumped back about five feet. I had no idea what was happening and quickly called my boss again.
Sgt. Spears patiently explained that gases were leaving the body and this was normal. He told me to look around for Mr. Roberts’ identification. I hung up the phone and removed my eyes from the activity on the couch. I noticed a six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade on the floor next to the body. I love Mike’s Hard Lemonade and even with Mr. Roberts’ odor, I couldn’t believe the waste. Three of the bottles were empty and three were open and half full.
I shook my head and radioed dispatch requesting that they notify the coroner and mortuary of the death. I found the wallet in the master bedroom and was grateful it was not in Mr. Roberts’ back pocket. I wrote down his date of birth and other information. I was notified by dispatch that the coroner was on hold so I called in and was phone patched with Dr. Thomas. I gave him a list of medications I had found on the kitchen counter and the prescribing doctor’s name.
Dr. Thomas gave me a time of death for my report and then our short conversation ended. I took pictures of the scene and retrieved a death form and body tag from my vehicle. I began filling them out while waiting for the mortuary personnel to arrive.
The mortician arrived alone and I was asked to help straightened Mr. Roberts’ body from his sitting position and then assist in rolling him into a white zippered bag. We moved the coffee table and I picked up the six-pack with yellow filled liquid, bringing it up to my face. I examined it closely, again wondering why he only drank half the bottles contents. I saw the mortician give me an odd look so I placed the bottles out of our way. We moved the gurney next to the couch and hoisted the body up, strapped it in and then covered it with a blue velvet drape. The mortician wheeled Mr. Roberts out the front door.
I fixed the window screen and made sure the house was locked tight. As I was pulling the front door closed, Sgt. Spears arrived. He walked back inside with me and I told him about my conversations with the coroner and mortician as he looked around the scene.
We finally made our way back toward the front door. I picked the Mike’s up from the floor and said, “I can’t believe he left these three bottles half filled. What a waste.”
Sgt. Spears started laughing. There were tears running down his face as he looked at me holding the six-pack. I could barely understand him when he said, “Officer Ivy, you drink the alcohol and then piss in the bottles.”
I guess this is a guy thing. Thank goodness Mike’s has progressed to other flavors in their product line. I no longer drink the hard lemonade. It’s a Suzie Ivy thing.