Construction workers found the body of 73-year-old Ralph Ford covered in clothes in a dumpster behind the St. Francis Nursing Center in Detroit, Michigan, where he had lived, on Jan. 18.
Although his autopsy points to a natural death, the St. Francis Nursing Center didn’t report him missing until after his body was found, The Associated Press reported.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is now investigating the nursing facility, but declined to say if the probe was related to Ford’s death, WXYZ reported. The St. Francis Nursing Center hasn’t commented on the case, but a relative of one of the residents said that management is now installing surveillance cameras.
Although it remains unclear how Ford’s body wound up in the dumpster or if he left on his own free will, stories of elderly people leaving their care facilities and later dying are not uncommon. In 2014, 87-year-old Lawrence Bollettini left his nursing home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and was later found dead in the courtyard, having succumbed to hypothermia, NBC Philadelphia reported.
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There is no indication Ford had any form of cognitive impairment, but Bollettini suffered from dementia.