A Florida man has admitted to burying his overdosed friend in his back yard — and he made the confession during interviews with Orlando-area TV stations outside his home, showing one reporter exactly where the body was buried.
Greg Palermo told WESH reporter Michelle Meredith that the man lived at his Orlando home before his death a couple of months ago, the TV station reports.
“I feel horrible, because he was a friend of mine,” Palermo told the reporter. “I made a bad decision because I was scared.”
During the interview, Palermo described returning home to find the man face down in his room, WESH reports. Despite 20 minutes of CPR, the man was dead, Palermo said.
“He jokingly said that morning while we were fishing that he wouldn’t mind being buried in my back yard because it’s so pretty,” Palermo said in the interview, telling WESH his friend died of a heroin overdose that was — Palermo believes — an intended suicide. “It used to be pretty — you know, before the backhoes and stuff came in.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office found the body Sunday and is treating the case as an active and ongoing death investigation, deputies said in a statement emailed to McClatchy. Deputies identified the buried man as 27-year-old Brandon Boone. Deputies said the “cause of death has not been determined, and any applicable charges are still under investigation.”
A neighbor said the digging in the backyard on Glasgow Avenue near Lake Marsha Drive began Friday morning, according to WFTV. The home is near Universal Orlando Resort.
“All I heard was a bullhorn — ‘This is the Sheriff’s Office. Residents of 5015: Please come out with your hands up,’ or something like that,” neighbor Javier Gerena said, adding that deputies were at the home all weekend, WFTV reports. “They were excavating in the back. They had a canopy outside, and they were just digging holes.”
Palermo said the hole in which he buried his friend was 9 feet deep, FOX 35 reports.
Palermo said he admitted to the overdose death incident when deputies came to his home investigating a possible methamphetamine lab, according to the TV station. He denied running a meth lab in interviews with local TV stations.
“I was scared of this cop,” Palermo said in an interview with FOX 35, explaining why he confessed. “This cop scared the bejeesus out of me, and I didn’t want him taking the ball and running with it.”
Neighbors said deputies were often seen responding to the home and that the discovery of a body wasn’t a surprise after the extensive digging, FOX 35 reports.
“I saw the SWAT team and they were always here digging, and they brought the excavator... just day and night, day and night,” Gerena said, according to FOX. “I was thinking exactly what everyone else was probably thinking — that there was a body.”