Volusia County sheriff?s investigators arrested a DeLand man Tuesday after he waited eight hours before telling anyone about a body in a room above the garage of his girlfriend's home, authorities said.
William Hendrix, Jr., 55, initially said he was so upset about the death of the boarder that he didn?t know what to do, deputies said. Later, during questioning, Hendrix admitted that he didn?t report the death because he was afraid his girlfriend would be mad, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
Hendrix?s girlfriend owns the home at 845 N. Ridgewood Ave. just west of DeLand, and she told him previously that she disapproved of him taking in boarders, deputies said.
The Sheriff's Office identified the man as Daniel Ferris, 46, Tuesday evening.
Investigators are awaiting the outcome of an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Deputies said initial indications don?t point to any foul play.
Hendrix said he found the man?s body around 4 p.m. on Monday when he went to the upstairs of the house to check on something, deputies said. Hendrix said he has known the man for years, but hadn?t seen him for some time until a few weeks ago and took him in because he was down on his luck and needed help.
Instead of reporting the death, Hendrix mowed his lawn, and at some point, Hendrix became overwhelmed by the stench and poured bleach on the body to cover the smell, deputies said.
About eight hours after finding his friend?s body, Hendrix told his girlfriend, who called authorities, deputies said.
Because of the chemicals Hendrix poured on the body, the Volusia County hazmat team responded to assist with the case.
Sheriff?s investigator A.J. Pagliari arrested Hendrix on charges of failing to report the death, a misdemeanor. He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach and was being held on $500 bond.