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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2019 1 year ago

UPDATED: Two arrested after body discovered in Dr. Phillips

Greg Palermo, 50, and Donald Morrison, 59, were arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office after they buried the body of an overdose victim, according to arrest reports.
by: Hannah Swayze News Editor

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men Friday, June 7, after they admitted to burying the body of a friend who had died of an overdose, according to an arrest report. 

Greg Palermo, 50, and Donald Morrison, 59, were charged with tampering with physical evidence, mishandling dead human remains and failure to report a death after investigators discovered the body of Brandon Boone in the back yard of a Dr. Phillips home in April. 

Homicide Sgt. Joe Covelli said during a press conference agents in the OCSO narcotics unit received information saying there was a drug overdose at 5015 Glasgow Ave. and that there was a body buried there. He said an investigation and search of the home led to the discovery of the body of Boone, who was buried in the yard behind the home. 

On April 14, Boone’s body was exhumed from the property. Covelli confirmed that Boone died from an overdose of fentanyl and methamphetamine.

According to arrest records, both Palermo and Morrison admitted to burying Boone’s body in a 10-foot grave fearing an investigation because of the nature of his death. 

Florida law protects bystanders who call 911 to report overdoses to emergency services. Law enforcement would have investigated the death but would not have pursued drug charges, according to the OCSO.

Records state Palermo believed law enforcement was after him “because of the company he keeps,” and he got scared and that burying Boone’s body was the “smartest thing to do.” 

Morrison told detectives they “made a little shift with the plastic so people really couldn’t see what was going on and started digging a hole,” arrest records state. 

Morrison and Palermo both were held in lieu of a $11,500 bond as of June 7.

According to the OCSO, there have been 43 confirmed overdose deaths in Orange County as of June 9 this year, a significant decrease from last year when that number was at 83.

Hannah Swayze was the News Editor at the West Orange Times & Observer and Southwest Orange Observer. 


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