Hooked her up like pulling a wrecked car from a ditch.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office has come under fire after it was revealed that an obese woman was dragged from her home and hauled away on a trailer in front of family members following her death.

Teresa Smith, 48, who weighed 750 pounds, died Tuesday in her apartment on Indianapolis’ northeast side.

Officials at the scene told 6News’ Jack Rinehart that the deputy coroner made the decision to call a towing service to remove the body from the home.

“We debated for quite a while about how we were going to get her out of there and so we finally decided, since we didn’t have a van that was large enough to carry her, it was decided between (the police) department and the coroner’s office to use (the truck),” said Detective Marcus Kennedy.

Smith’s boyfriend and the couple’s 13-year-old son, along with several neighbors, watched as Smith’s body, still on her mattress, was dragged across the courtyard of the apartment complex, strapped down on the wrecker and covered with a piece of carpet.

“I think they should have handled it differently, putting her on a flatbed like they did. That was like putting a cow up there,” said Smith’s boyfriend, David Johnson.

  1. bobbo says:

    “I think they should have handled it differently, putting her on a flatbed like they did. That was like putting a cow up there,” said Smith’s boyfriend, David Johnson. //// Ok, like what?

  2. Noel says:


    How about a U-Haul truck?

  3. MikeN says:

    Rather than passing soda taxes and putting calorie counts on menus, they should just make this front page news. And eliminate the ethanol subsidy.

  4. bobbo says:

    #2–Noel==nope, I read the article again==she was DEAD. Couldn’t haul her own ass anywhere.

    But a fork lift to a covered vehicle would have been more “respectful” I suppose. Tow trucks on contract or try to find a forklift or covered truck for that matter.

    How much additional cost and overtime is someone else’s dignity worth?

  5. Mac Guy says:

    “That was like putting a cow up there”

    Uh… “Like?”

    WTF were they supposed to do?

  6. Ron Larson says:

    OK… the alternative was to break out chainsaws and carry her out in pieces. Dude.. she was HUGE!

  7. They could have given her an enema and put her in a shoe box.

  8. Noel says:


    Well, dignity is not worth anything to her, but for the sake of her family they probably should have made some greater effort. Just waiting to the middle of the night would have been better.

  9. Mr. Fusion says:

    While this might not have been the most dignified method, I didn’t read that she said anything against it.

    And Option Two was, …

  10. bobbo says:

    #7–Sister==she was dead. Enema’s wouldn’t work, maybe a golf ball pushed thru her system with compressed air==but I get your point.

    Do you have to “get into” character, or is your time in the house so searing that it never leaves you?

  11. bobbo says:

    #8–Noel==I imagine this lady was my mother. What would I think? Probably the same: more respect “could have” been shown, but I don’t know if I would be upset. Saving grace was removing her ON THE MATTRESS rather than a butt drag across the curb, and putting the carpet over her. Isn’t being covered the main issue?

    I wonder why they just didn’t get some straps and about 8 guys to pick her up and move her. She was in an apartment, they must have done something for the tow truck deal.

    So–could have been a lot worse. Could have been better.

    Its outrageous conduct on the living that gets my focus.

  12. pwuk says:

    They could have used a chainsaw?

  13. carnage3x says:

    Bobbo…..I have personally been one of 9 men in an ER to move an immobile 475lb woman to an ambulance upon a mattress from 2 of our stretchers put together in an open area….and that was a task…I couldn’t imagine moving 750 out of probably cluttered apartment. 15 men prob would not have been enough….. as dignified as it would have sounded, there has to be realism when taking on that task..jokes aside what if the strap broke, someone slipped etc etc…and her dead body fell upon someone? or just plain fell to the ground? I think they were on point w/ the tow truck. As for the rug…who knows, none of us were really there…but if it is true that would be out of line.

  14. Mr. Fusion says:

    #11, Bobbo,

    Respect? For what? She is dead !!! Her corpse is just a bunch of cells beginning the decaying process.

    Drop her into a hole in the ground and plant a forest over her. (I’ll settle for a single tree for me)

    Drop her body in the ocean and let a few pods of Orcas feed for a few months.

    Cremate her and use the heat to power a large city for a week.

    Dignity is for the living.

  15. Richard D. says:

    Oh… they should have given her family 30 minutes to clear out & cremated her in place.

  16. orangetiki says:

    No people, the “proper” thing to do would be to call 1800packrat.com and stick her in one of their moving crates. It would be the heavy truck and the coffin all in one swift move. Gosh 😉

    #15 You could’ but i’d wonder for how long she woudl burn for. 750lb? That’s a lot of oil in her skin.

  17. bobbo says:

    #14–fusion==dignity for the living, especially for the family members present, is the only dignity present.

    #13–carnage==if there aren’t enough men around to do it, then thats not an option. If you have the men, then it is an option. Funny, I was looking at the carpet over the body as respectful, yet you seem to take it the other way? I’m thinking anything to cover the body that won’t blow away in the wind.

    All I’m saying is “consider the wants/desires legitimate desires of the FAMILY and do the best you can.”

    Who wants to continue arguing against that?——-and why? With what presuppositions?

  18. MrMiGu says:

    They could have always lifted her out by helicopter

  19. BigBoyBC says:

    Way to go guys, alway count on you to take the low road.

    I witnessed something like this with my late uncle, who was morbidly obese. Not only does the family have to deal with the death, they have to deal with the gawkers and jackasses like you making jokes.

    None of you can even imagine the nightmare that woman’s life had become nor her family’s.

    Of course, most of you have no respect for the living, why should I expect respect for the dead…

  20. GigG says:

    #18, I’d be willing to bet that they didn’t have access to a helo that could sling 750 lbs.

  21. chuck says:

    Here’s an alternative solution:

  22. Mr Anderson says:

    Just a real ‘yo mama so fat’ joke in the headlines

  23. Sister Mary Hand Grenade of Quiet Reflection says:

    Bobbo – can I get you a tissue?


  24. SparkyOne says:


  25. PMitchell says:

    Mr Fusion for once I agree
    she is dead one of 3 things have happened

    If we religious people are correct she is really happy in her new place or she is having the worst time ever but either way that body is not occupied any more and is just a hunk of decomposing meat and fat

    if you fusion types are correct she is still just a hunk of possible soylent green either way it is a corpse and she prob would not be dead if some one in that family would have quit feeding her about 10k calories a day

  26. gtriamy says:

    Why are we expecting the coroner or the police to move our dead anyway? No one from the family stepped up to contract someone else to move the body? I’m sorry, but in this society, if you want dignity, you have to pay for it. If you don’t want to be dragged out of your house and strapped to a tow hitch, don’t get fat. You may say that you might have a hormone problem, bla bla bla. If you don’t have money to buy food, you’ll eat less. If you are addicted to food, then you’ll die just as any other meth head. Take some personal responsibility here people. You want dignity? It starts with yourself.

  27. riker17 says:

    #27 – I agree with you, personal responsibility is where it’s at. I have no sympathy for this woman or her boyfriend or son, cause they allowed this to happen. How big is either of them, I wonder? A dead body is a dead body and no respect is warranted. Cremation is the proper way to go, imho.

  28. Dave W says:

    Well, it IS very sad. But what is the coroner supposed to do? None of the options are particularly good, or for that matter much better than what they did. Perhaps waiting until dark, but it all depends on what time she died and the ambient temperature. It does not take long for things to get real nasty in hot weather.

    I AM always amazed at these tremendously obese people who, the story usually goes, can’t get out of bed. Someone must be bringing them food, by the bucket load, not to mention the inevitable waste removal. If I were a statist type, I’d say that the family should be brought up on charges of abuse.

  29. Nimby says:

    # 19 BigBoyBC said, “…gawkers and jackasses like you making jokes.

    None of you can even imagine the nightmare that woman’s life had become nor her family’s.”

    Take a break BigBoy. Sorry about your uncle but, in my experience (and I have had several of these huge patients – the biggest was nearly as heavy as this woman) the families are often relieved to have the burden lifted from them. I was seeing a teenaged girl for another problem once and she told me since her aunt had passed away, “the house smells a lot better.”

    Maybe this woman’s “boyfriend” helped wipe her ass and empty the bedpan and cook the many meals a day and give her sponge baths. Probably not. Bet the 13 year old did most of it. In any case, it’s over now and the family can begin the process of healing.

    I’m with Fusion. When I go, I want to be tossed in a hole and allowed to feed a tree or two. And if they get me to the cemetery in a bucket loader or a beat up pick up truck, who cares? I know I won’t.


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