Suspect in barrel body case found dead in Florida
A man wanted in connection to a woman's body found late last month stuffed into a 55-gallon drum on his property in northwest Harris County has been found dead after he hung himself in a motel in Florida.
The body of Dennis Anderson, 64, was discovered Friday hanging at a Super 8 motel room in Escambia County, the Harris County Sheriff's Office announced today. (For more background on Anderson, including a previous murder conviction, see this story.)
He was charged with tampering with evidence — specifically a human corpse - after a woman's body was found in the drum in the 7500 block of Split Oak Court Oct. 21.
His roommate said he had not seen Anderson since Oct. 20.
The body was discovered when an informant called Crime Stoppers Oct. 18 alleging that Anderson had confessed to strangling someone and placing the body in a barrel stashed at the side of his house.
When sheriff's homicide investigators went to Anderson's home Oct. 21, his roommate, who had been living there only two weeks, gave officers permission to check the backyard. Investigators found a number of large metal drums there, many capable of containing a body - but only one of those barrels was bolted shut.
After prying the barrel open, investigators found the unidentified woman, whose head was sticking above the dirt packed inside the container.
Her knees were pulled up to her chest, court records show. Under the dirt, a bedsheet was wrapped around the female's body, and two trash bags were wrapped over the sheet.
Homicide investigators estimated the victim appeared to have been dead for several months. How she died has not yet been determined.
The case is still being investigated.
Chronicle reporters Peggy O'Hare and Amiee Buras contributed to this article