Miami man says girlfriend's mutilated body actually blow-up doll 'made of flesh'

Jerome Wright arrested after disemboweled body found in his bedroom closet

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor, Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

Police say Jerome Wright told them that a body found in his bedroom closet was actually a blow-up doll "made of flesh." The body was identified as Wright's girlfriend, Deanna Clendinen.

MIAMI - A Miami man was arrested Saturday after the mutilated body of his girlfriend was found in his bedroom closet, covered with several sheets and clothing, police said.

Despite the discovery, Jerome Wright, 32, denied that there was a body in his closet, instead choosing to tell police that "whatever was in his room was not real," according to an arrest affidavit obtained Tuesday by Local 10 News.

Miami-Dade police officers were called to Wright's home at 6268 NW 23rd Ave. on Friday night after Wright's mother reported smelling a foul odor coming from inside her son's room.

When officers got there, according to the report, Wright walked out of his room "naked and sweaty and advised the officers that he had a stomachache." Officers searched the room and "discovered what appeared to be bodily fluids on a trash can and a mattress."

Police say Jerome Wright told them that a body found in his bedroom closet was actually a blow-up doll "made of flesh." The body was identified as Wright's girlfriend, Deanna Clendinen.

They soon found the body of Wright's girlfriend, Deanna Clendinen, 52, in the closet.

Because of the amount of items concealing the body, officers could only see a decomposed leg protruding from the pile, police said.

Wright's mother told police that Clendinen, who frequently stayed at the home, was the only visitor in the last week. Wright's mother said she hadn't seen Clendinen since she went into Wright's bedroom last Tuesday.

A few days later, Wright told police, her son ran out of his room complaining of stomach pain. When she asked her son about the foul smell coming from his room, he told her that he "saw a rat in his room, had diarrhea and the dog defecated on the floor."

Wright's mother pointed out that her son "smelled like blood." Later that afternoon, she smelled a foul odor coming from a garbage can in the kitchen, so she took out the trash without looking at what was inside the trash bag.

During an interview with police, Wright said there was a life-size blow-up doll in his closet that "is made of flesh."

Wright also repeatedly said that, "If you find something in my room, it's from the internet," police said. Wright said he hadn't seen Clendinen in five months and that she wasn't at his house recently, police said.

The police report detailed the condition of Clendinen's body. Police said there was a large laceration to her abdomen and that several of her internal organs were missing. Police said the organs were found in the trash outside the home.

An autopsy revealed that Clendinen's abdominal laceration and disembowelment took place after her death, but a cause of death is still pending.

Wright's mother told Local 10 News reporter Carlos Suarez that her son has suffered from schizophrenia since he was 15. She said he has been hospitalized under the Baker Act dozens of times.

"I love my son, and I'm just trying to hold on to him," Della Wright said. "I was trying to hold on to him because I wanted him around me, and this is totally out of my control." 

Court records show that Wright was arrested in March on a charge of aggravated battery against Clendinen. He pleaded guilty and is on probation.

Wright faces a charge of abusing a dead body. He remained in jail Tuesday morning.

"If you're not a loving, caring mother, you wouldn't tolerate him," Della Wright said. "It's hard."

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