Foul Odor Leads to Body of Florida Man

July 22, 2008
Two days after police investigated an attempted burglary, the body was fund in a ventilation shaft.


Police have identified the would-be burglar who was found dead in the ventilation shaft of a local business during the weekend.

The body of 46-year-old Benjamin Rodriguez was discovered in the ceiling of the All Star Sports Bar at 1510 S. State Road 7 on Saturday.

Police said it appears he tried to break into the business and got stuck in the narrow ductwork of the kitchen ventilation system.

The owner of the bar found several ceiling tiles on the floor when he opened for business Thursday. Police investigated and classified it as an attempted burglary.

Two days later, police said the bar owner smelled a foul odor and saw blood on the floor beneath the broken ceiling tiles.

Firefighters crawled into the ceiling and discovered Rodriguez's body upside down in the ductwork.

It took crews several hours to remove Rodriguez's body from the space, which measured about 2 square feet.

At 5 feet 7 inches, 182 pounds, detectives said it would have been impossible for Rodriguez to squeeze through the narrow space.

Police records show Rodriguez has a lengthy criminal history that includes arrests for cocaine possession, grand theft and reckless driving.

The Broward County medical examiner said Rodriguez died of accidental suffocation.

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