The apparent suicide of a woman found hanging from a tree went unreported for hours because passers-by thought the body was a Halloween decoration, authorities said.
The 42-year-old woman used rope to hang herself across the street from some homes on a moderately busy road late Tuesday or early Wednesday, state police said.
The body, suspended about 15 feet above the ground, could be easily seen from passing vehicles.
State police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Oldham and neighbors said people noticed the body at breakfast time Wednesday but dismissed it as a holiday prank. Authorities were called to the scene more than three hours later.
“They thought it was a Halloween decoration,” Fay Glanden, wife of Mayor William Glanden, told The (Wilmington) News Journal.
“It looked like something somebody would have rigged up,” she said.