In another one in the category of too strange to be fiction, New York police are reporting that an 89-year-old man was discovered in a large suitcase on a rural Arkansas farm. The man was a World War II vet who lived nearby.
According to Lt. David Gilbo of the Johnstown, New York, Police Department, it is believed that Robert Brooks died of natural causes at his home several weeks before his body was found in a field on a farm in Prairie County on March 5.
“He was a war hero who could have been buried at the (Arlington) National Cemetery,” Gilbo commented.
“Instead, he ends up in a suitcase dumped in a field in Arkansas.”
The police statement highlighted that Brooks, who was only 4 feet 11 inches tall, was not dismembered before being stuffed in the suitcase.
Gilbo noted that investigators are looking into why Brooks’ body was moved. Investigators are considering the possibility that his caregivers were hiding his death to continue getting monthly Social Security payments.
Of note, two people described as caregivers for Brooks have been arrested on suspicion of abuse of a corpse.
There are no plans to extradite the pair to New York at this time because of Arkansas’ strict laws on abuse of a corpse. The offense is only punishable by three years in prison in New York, while in Arkansas the same crime can result in a 10-year prison sentence.
Locals point out that Brooks was a well-known figure in the area. He had served as a gunner in a B-17 bomber’s ball turret for more than two years during WWII.
“It’s the most dangerous assignment in war,” Prairie County Sheriff Rick Hickman remarked. “The belly gunner is in a small bubble on the bottom of the plane. The enemy wants to shoot at him first. Life expectancy on that job is very short.”
Source: NY Post