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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 15:03 GMT
NY police find 'cashback' corpse
David Dalaia, right, and James O'Hare behind
David Dalaia, right, and James O'Hare, behind, attracted attention
Two men face trial after wheeling their dead friend down a Manhattan street in an alleged attempt to cash his Social Security cheque.

The sight of two men pushing a partially-dressed, pale, stiff body on an office chair raised the suspicions of a passing policeman.

Detective Travis Rapp arrested David Dalaia and James O'Hare, both 65.

The dead man, Virgilio Cintron, 66, is believed to have died in the previous 24 hours, the Associated Press reports.

A post mortem is said to have proved inconclusive.

Mr Dalaia and Mr O'Hare are said to have expressed surprise when paramedics told them Mr Cintron was dead.

'Very dead'

They reportedly tried to cash the $355 (181) cheque on Tuesday, but were told by a clerk that Mr Cintron had to be present.

They returned to the flat that one of them shared with Mr Cintron and partially dressed the corpse before loading it into a chair and wheeling it back to the shop, police said.

Passers-by watched as they left the body outside the shop and went in to cash the cheque.

The clerk again insisted Mr Cintron had to be with them and as they returned to fetch him, they were stopped by Detective Rapp.

The officer said he thought the figure was a mannequin or a dummy at first.

"I thought it was a joke, honestly," he told AP.

One onlooker was not so sure.

"I saw this guy sitting in this chair with his head back," restaurant worker Victor Rodriguez, 38, told AP.

"He looked very dead. He looked very sick. His eyes were closed. He wasn't moving."



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