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Man’s dead body mistaken as Halloween decoration

Crime scene tape and police lights. (Dreamstime/TNS)
October 22, 2023

A man from China Grove, North Carolina, was mistakenly thought to be a Halloween yard decoration after his dead body was discovered by a lawn care worker.

According to Queen City News, the body of Robert Owens, age 34, was discovered lying face-down with only partial clothing on in front of an abandoned house. Owens’ body had reportedly been in front of the abandoned house for days before the discovery was made that the body was real.

One day before the body was identified, a lawn care worker reportedly mowed around Owens’ body, believing it was merely a Halloween decoration.

“Don’t know how you can do that,” Haley Shue, Owens’ sister, told Queen City News. “Mow right beside someone and assume that they’re Halloween decorations at a house no one lives at.”

Owens’ mother, Brenda Bostian, also expressed her disbelief at someone mistaking Owens’ body for a decoration. She told WCCB Charlotte, “I don’t know how he was mistaken for a Halloween decoration or a mannequin. He’s clearly a human.”

According to The Daily Wire, Owens had last been seen by his family on Oct. 1, before his body was discovered on Oct. 10. The family claimed that the house Owens was found in had been empty for a considerable length of time.

“My grandmother has lived off of Shue Road for 40+ years,” Shue said, “and he’s never been to this house. He’s never known of this house this far off the road. He’s never been back here. He’s never been known to come here.”

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Owens’ family has been attempting to find out more information regarding his mysterious death. Although the family has acknowledged Owens’ reputation for using drugs, they still are demanding answers for how Owens ended up dead in front of the abandoned house.

Local police notified Owens’ family that Owens was not shot; however, the family was forced to press for additional answers from a construction worker on the property.

“Construction worker told us that he had cuts and scrapes on his arms like defensive wounds, his words,” Shue told Queen City News.

In the aftermath of the troubling discovery, Owens’ family has continued to demand answers while processing his unexpected death.

“His nieces and nephews love him, and he had just gotten my son a jacket, and he didn’t even have the chance to give it to him,” Shue said through tears. “We want answers.”

A GoFundMe page for Owens’ funeral expenses states, “Robert, we all love you and miss you dearly. Gone too soon but you will never be forgotten. Your demon you battled here on Earth is over, may you rest in peace bubby I love you.”