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Monday, March 22, 2021

Living Off a Corpse

     In November 2012, 72-year-old Ann Marquis died of natural causes in the trailer house she rented in Long's Mobile Home Court in Redford Township just west of Detroit. At the time of her death Marquis resided with Dennis McCauley. The 64-year-old had been living with Marquis for two and a half years.

     Mr. McCauley, instead of notifying the appropriate authorities of Ann Marquis' death, told her friends and neighbors that she had moved out of the trailer park. In reality, the dead woman, laid out on a living room sofa bed, hadn't gone anywhere.

     Over the next six months, as Dennis McCauley cashed Marquis' social security checks and used her credit cards, she decomposed on the sofa bed. 

     Mr. McCauley should have used some of his dead roommate's money to pay the monthly trailer rent. On April 22, 2013, Redford Township police officers, accompanied by the landlord, showed up at the trailer with an eviction notice. When the landlord opened the front door, she and the officers were assaulted by the smell of death. The gruesome discovery terminated McCauley's six-month postmortem relationship with Ann Marquis.

     A Wayne County prosecutor charged Dennis McCauley with nine felony offenses related to his macabre relationship with a dead woman. These crimes include larceny, social security fraud, illegal possession of a credit card, failure to report a death, and mutilation of corpse. The latter charge related to the discovery that the dead woman's right arm was separated from her body. (The arm may have come off when McCauley, months after Marquis' death, moved the body.)

     Dennis McCauley was held in the Wayne County Jail under $250,000 bond. If a judge threw the book at him, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars. Had he ripped-off a woman who was alive, he'd be looking at probation. Theft and fraud were crimes against property. Living six months with a dead woman was a crime against nature.

     In December 2014, Dennis McCauley pleaded no contest to mutilation of a corpse in return for probation and community service. Under the circumstances, he got off light.

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