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Demolition crew takes pictures of “mannequin” only to find it is a dead body

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MERRIAM, Kan. -- Crews demolishing a Merriam home made a disturbing discovery Friday afternoon. A body was found in the rubble of the home in the 5400 block of Antioch Road next to Merriam Town Center.

“I kicked in both doors walked through both houses, we do that to make sure that wasn’t anybody in the house,” David Hughes, a Houston Excavating employee said.

Once demolition was well underway the crews were unaware of what they had discovered at first.

“He picked up a load of trash to put over here and we actually thought it was a mannequin so we started laughing and taking pictures,” Hughes said.

“As soon as I got to that side of the house the smell, the stench just got to us.”

They called 911, and police confirmed it was a body buried in the rubble of the demolished home. Investigators are working now to identify the deceased, figure out how he got there, and determine how long had he been dead.

"I hope it’s not anything as far as a murder anything like that, it would be a terrible thing, especially since that’s something that’s unheard of in this neighborhood,” neighbor Kevin Clem said.

“We’re confident that the person was deceased prior to demolition based upon the condition of the body,” Merriam Police Captain Troy Duvanel said.

Duvanel also said it wasn’t the homeowner inside. Alan Alley died in a crash underneath I-35 last November.

Since then the home has been vacant, or at least everyone thought it was.

Police say the man had identification on him, which should expedite the process of figuring out who died.

Until police can find out how it happened, and possibly determine it wasn’t a homicide, all demolition has been ordered to come to a halt.

The autopsy will be conducted Saturday.