Press Release

Subject: Death Investigation (Related Arrest)
Incident Type:
Incident Date/Time 12/9/2020 9:00:00 AM
Expire Date/Time 1/1/2100 9:00:00 AM
Case Number:
Related Link:
Person/Suspect Info

INCIDENT DATE 12/08/2020

TIME 1238 hrs.

Case Number: 2020-030571
Incident Type: DEATH INVESTIGATION Business/Subdivision: Windmill Manor MHP
Location: 5019 Windmill Manor Ave, Bradenton
Victim(s): Jon Christopher Leonard Race/Sex: W/M Victim(s) D.O.B: 11/13/1980
Other: Michelle Haney Race/Sex: W/F Other D.O.B: 8/11/1972

At approximately 12:38 pm a resident of the Windmill Mobile Home Park called MSO because he found something suspicious in another person’s trash can, that he had been storing for them in his carport at 5019 Windmill Manor Lane.

The reporting party thought the sealed trash can contained that person’s personal items and was waiting for them to come back for it. After approximately 2 months, the resident decided to open the container and quickly noticed a foul smell.

Further investigation revealed a human body, in an advanced stage of decomposition was wrapped up inside the 55 gallon trash can. The body has yet to be identified, and it is also not known how the person died.

Detectives are following several leads as the investigation continues. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow. No other details are available at this time.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at (941) 747-3011.


UPDATE 12/09/20:

Detectives have positively identified the victim found dead inside a trash can in the Windmill Manor Mobile Home Park as Jon Christopher Leonard (DOB: 11/13/1980). Detectives have also made an arrest in the case, charging Michelle Haney (DOB: 8/11/1972) with Abuse of a Dead Human Body.

Haney, who was living with Leonard at the time, tells detectives that back in July she found Leonard deceased inside the residence at 5023 Windmill Manor Ave. Instead of calling the Sheriff’s Office she stored his body in a closet, and then 3 weeks later put his body inside a trash can, sealed it up, and took it to a neighbor’s residence. She told the neighbor, who was unaware of what was inside, that she’d be back to pick it up later. (see previous release below)

She admitted to doing this so she could use his social security benefits after he died. Additional charges are expected.

The cause of Leonard’s death is still undetermined. Results of today’s autopsy are pending.

UPDATE: 02/04/21

During her interview with homicide detectives, Michelle Haney (DOB: 8/11/1972) admitted to having knowledge of Jon Christopher Leonard’s disability income and using it after concealing his body. Through the victim’s bank records and purchase history, it was determined Haney spent more than $6,300 in disability income that should have terminated when Leonard passed away. Probable cause was established to charge Haney with Criminal Use of Personal Identification of a Deceased Individual and Scheme to Defraud. She was already in jail from her original charge.