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. RTaylor says:

    No Funeral Home has the ability to deal with this, the coroner had to do it. Having been on first calls, we tried to always get the family out the way. You often have to stand the deceased up to get down staircases and tight places. Often air trapped in the lungs and stomach can produce a moaning sound. This of course can make for an awkward situation. The family could have been removed from the site. As a side note, few crematoriums could handle this body. After the dot com failure I went to work at a funeral hone than return to teaching high school. At least you had a lot of quiet time. I had a break down after two years, it can be a hard business.

  2. lynn says:

    My mom died at home a few months ago. The undertaker offered to my brother and me to transfer her from bed to stretcher and then put her in the back of the undertaker’s SUV. Mom was just a little bitty thing but believe me there’s nothing tremendously dignified about sliding someone into the back of an SUV. Still, it beats a flatbed, I guess. My point – and I do have on (though it doesn’t show if I part my hair on the side)- is that it’s rough on the family no matter how they take them out.

  3. fw says:

    A cow is a cow is a cow.
    Wake up and smell the roses of reality.
    If they where humiliated all the better, they where obviusly part of the problem, letting some one get that obese shuld be a crime.
    And if you are discraced by your own action or inaction all the better.
    An viable alternative shuld be forsing the family take care of the whole problem.
    From digging a huge ass grave or woodpile to burn the lardass, to actually carrying the body to whatever is needed.

  4. denacron says:

    She was 600+ pounds past dignity.

    A six man stretcher would have each carrying 125 pounds. Of course a normal stretchers hand holds would be inaccessible with that huge a body. Even a normal skid-steer loader would not handle her weight very well.

    If you are going to eat to be that large or feed someone till they get that large forget dignity, install double width doors and have a reinforced floor that can handle the combined weight of blubber and blubber removal implements.

  5. hhopper says:

    That woman ran out of “dignity” a long time ago.

  6. DrBen says:

    Locally in Ca we just had the same thing happen today!


  7. Randin says:


    If her family had any dignity them-selves they would have put her on a diet… and before anyone says it, yes they could have, it’s not like she could get up and get her own food.

  8. Floyd says:

    Unfortunately, Indiana (where I was born and used to live) is so full of overeating Bubbas and Bubbettes that this incident will probably occur again, and the coroner or funeral director will have to deal with the situation way too many times. Sad.

  9. Al says:

    You people are mean. I could not get up to 750 pounds (or 250 for that matter) no matter how much I ate. Believe me, I’ve tried, actually I’m scarfing a 4th meal from Taco Bell right now, but I digress. Something medical must be going on, but either way everyone deserves to be treated with dignity whether they think so or not.

    How you treat someone is a reflection on YOU, not on the other person.

  10. deowll says:

    Everybody should be treated with respect but if you weigh that much six guys aren’t going to pick you up and carry you to a nice van with out risking their backs as for getting through the doors…The less said the better.

    They did what they had to do.

  11. Glenn E. says:

    If you eat like a cow, expect to be hauled away like one, when you die. If they made this story more public (but you know they won’t), it would make a lot of people think about seriously loosing the weight. And the junk food and processed food industries would take a huge hit, in sales. And that’s why we won’t be hearing about this on Tv.

  12. dinahmcc says:

    Her boyfriend (!?!) and her son HAD to have been FEEDING her in order for her to get this big. People like this can’t just jump up and run to the store for their own food….they are shut-ins, reclusive people (it said so in one article I read). So the family was HELPING her get this big and stay this big. THIS is DISRESPECTFUL. Then when she finally dies, they get upset about the coroner’s office not wanting to injure themselves lifting her up. As for the “Dirty Carpet” goes, well that’s just gross and mean.

  13. denacron says:

    # 39 Al

    “You people are mean.”

    Perhaps pragmatic or practical.
    Someone/something of that size is hard to move. Especially a 750 pound, more or less spherical shape. How dignified can the corpse removal from an apartment complex be?

    Extraordinary measures have to be taken just to move them. If you involve man power alone, that amount of weight is dangerous to move. Refrigerators, freezers or washing machines weigh much less.

    If you were to take six lads (say 170 pound gents) and put her on a dignified stretcher that could handle her proportions you are over 3/4 of a ton in a small area. I would not want to be on a staircase or a floor that was not up to the stress. Imagine too if someone slipped while carrying that weight and having it fall on you.

    Maybe it seems mean what we say, but its not half as bad as eating your way to being a huge burden then a danger to your fellow mankind.

  14. razoruckuz says:

    I agree with R.Taylor in that I have a medical back round in surgery and have done first calls for the Coroners and Mortuary. It is very difficult to move a heavier body. The gurney that one is placed on for a larger person has a weight capacity of about 300 plus pounds. The gurney also ads to the weight so when you have two people trying to carry someone it is much harder than it seems. The 13 year old should not have been allowed to watch and as for the boyfriend he needed to just deal with it. They were just trying to do their job.


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