Portable toilet explodes with woman inside, killing her instantly


Was it murder? Drugs?  Suicide?  Too much methane gas?

That’s what police are trying to figure out in the investigation into the death of a woman in St. Augustine, Florida.

Police say she was killed around 7 a.m. Saturday when the portable toilet she was in exploded.  The force of it was so great that the woman’s body was “unrecognizable”.

It happened at the 500 Block Horseshoe Road Saturday morning.  According to witnesses, the “porta-potty” was sitting in front of a home undergoing construction work. According to the homeowner, there was no work scheduled for that morning.

Police said the woman was too severely burned for them to identify her.  The medical examine did determine that the victim was most likely a white female.

St. Johns Sheriff’s Office spokesman Chuck Mulligan said that they haven’t gotten any missing person reports in the area.

“At this time, we have not received any missing persons reports that may coincide with this incident. We are asking anyone who may have a family member or friend, who has not been heard from and may be missing, to contact the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office and ask for the Major Crimes Unit.”

They’re trying to get to the bottom of what caused the explosion.  They said it could have been caused by anything from suicide or a medical use to drug use or someone smoking inside, lighting the methane gas.


“A person could have gone in there and the methane gas could have ignited somehow … it might have been a suicide or something more nefarious. We just don’t know at this juncture,” Mulligan said.

Police said anything with information should call the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 904-824-8304.

Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans?  It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans.  Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice.  Check it out today.

Portable toilet explodes with woman inside, killing her instantly

In another story of the “unexplainable” that we reported this month… police in Monroe County, Michigan are still trying to figure out what woman was thinking.

She didn’t have any money and her boyfriend was her only means of financial stability. So when he died, police say she stashed his body inside their apartment and continued to use his credit card.

50-year-old Angela Shock was arrested by Monroe Police back in April after concerned relatives alerted authorities of their concerns over not seeing or hearing from the man in several weeks. When officers went to conduct a welfare check on the man, they discovered that he had been dead for about a month, and his girlfriend had been hiding it.

Portable toilet explodes with woman inside, killing her instantly
Angela Shock was sentenced to six months in jail this week. (Monroe County Jail)


Investigators say that Angela Shock freaked out about her finances when her boyfriend passed. So instead of alerting authorities, she instead chose to hide his body inside the apartment, which she continued to live in for approximately a month, and used his credit card to pay the bills, Monroe News reported. 

After an autopsy, a medical examiner determined that the man had died from complications concerning medical issues a few weeks prior to his body being discovered.

Shock pleaded guilty to counts of concealing a death and illegal use of a financial transaction device. She apologized for her actions in front of a Monroe County Judge and was handed a jail sentence of 180 days. As part of her punishment, she has been barred from contacting any members of the deceased’s family.

“It’s a deplorable thing you did Ms. Shock, but I see … there was a mental health component that came into play,” said Chief Circuit Judge Michael A. Weipert before handing out his her sentence.


He said though what she had done was disgraceful, he believed it was not done out of malicious intent.

“I don’t think this [jail sentence] necessarily brings peace to the family, and I’m sorry for that, but I believe this to be a fair and proportionate sentence,” he said.

A similar tragic story came out of Texas the week before.

Police have arrested a woman after they say she confessed to hiding her 5-year-old daughter’s dead body inside an apartment closet for six days after she had died.

According to ABC 13’s Stefania Okolie, Houston Police arrested 27-year-old Priscilla Nicole Torres after she provided the gruesome details of her daughter’s fate. She’s now facing a felony charge of tampering with evidence – her own daughter’s deceased body.

Police discovered the body of 5-year-old Sierra Patino after she’d been dead for a week. (Facebook)


Police say that while Torres was not necessarily responsible for the 5-year-old Sierra Patino’s death, her attempt to hide what had happened was a horrific crime in itself. Sources say that the child had allegedly died when she ingested chemicals inside the apartment. Instead of seeking medical attention, Torres reportedly tucked the girl’s body away in the closet for nearly a week.

Police were tipped off after family members became concerned, having not seen the child for a number of days, which was reportedly not routine.

Priscilla Torres (HPD)


When those family members stopped by Torres’ apartment, they noticed a foul smell. They asked Torres about it, and she allegedly admitted to them that it was 5-year-old Sierra’s body.

Investigators began looking into the details surrounding the child’s death and the alleged cover-up. The mother’s primary story claimed that a bottle of toilet cleaner had spilled in the bath while she was bathing Sierra. She said that her daughter’s skin began to peel and that she died the next day. 

Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans?  It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans.  Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice.  Check it out today.

Portable toilet explodes with woman inside, killing her instantly


But then later on, she changed her story to say that her boyfriend was actually the one giving Sierra a bath.

“Her boyfriend offered to give the child a bath while the defendant made dinner,” authorities said. “The door was closed and upon opening the door, she observed her boyfriend with the daughter … She said daughter was exhibiting chemical burns to her extremities, also some redness and bruises to forehead.”

After she passed, Torres allegedly wrapped her in a blanket and placed her in the closet.

She remained in there until Monday, September 2, when police were called to the Quail Creek apartment complex.

Detectives are looking at whether Torres’ story ends up being consistent with the toxicology reports from the medical examiner. 

Portable toilet explodes with woman inside, killing her instantly
Priscilla Torres faces felony charges of tampering with evidence. (HPD)


Police also noted that Torres’ boyfriend, whom also lives at the apartment, was questioned by investigators, but has not been arrested or charged in connection with the crime. ABC 13’s report said that Sierra and Priscilla had moved in with him on August 23, just days before she died.

Firefighters at the scene said that the young girl’s body was in a ‘state of decay’ when they found her. 

“It’s very troubling,” said HPD Lt. Larry Crowson. “No matter how the child died, you know, whether it’s an accidental or intentional death, for a body to be in a closet for several days, that’s just unthinkable.”


The child’s school released a public statement following the news of her tragic death.

“Galena Park ISD was made aware today and is deeply saddened that the young child who tragically lost her life last week was enrolled at Jacinto City Elementary. Counseling and support have been provided for students and staff, and will continue as long as needed. We extend our heartfelt sympathy and ask our community to pray during this very difficult time.”

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First



Related Posts