By Sylvia Gonzalez
BIG SPRING - A body found in Big Spring over the weekend has been identified as a man missing since early April, but it is how the body was discovered that makes this case unusual.
It began when police were chasing a woman accused of stealing from a Wal-Mart.
Not only is 32-year-old Misty Clayton facing charges of evading arrest but she is also facing charges of theft from a corpse. According to Sgt. Everett with the Big Spring Police Department, she had stolen property in her pockets from the deceased man.
"She had removed items from the remains, and of course, she was charged with theft, fleeing and theft from a corpse," Everett said.
Everett said Clayton thought she had gotten away from the cops. That's when she stopped and stole the items from the decomposing body.
"She thought she had gotten away and thought she had time to stop and take what she wanted," Everett said.
Everett says the items she stole cannot be disclosed since it is an ongoing investigation, but he did reveal the identity of the body as being 32-year-old Michael Bermlin.
He was a Big Spring native and according to Everett, he was not a homeless man, although he had been missing for a while.
"The last time he was seen was a little before April third," Everett said.
Everett explained how Bermlin may have died.
"He suffered a broken back and several broken ribs from a fall, apparently he was up on the ledge of the ravine which is about a 50 foot drop and fell onto some large rocks," Everett said.
NewsWest 9 spoke with Big Spring residents who are in disbelief over someone stealing from a corpse.
"I feel bad because how can people do that," Big Spring Resident, Flora Salazar, said.
"I think it's kind of stupid if you are running from the law to stop and rob from someone who is dead," Big Spring resident, Don Quall, said.
According to Doug Shelley, it doesn't matter who you steal from, theft is theft and the person responsible should face the consequences.
"Stealing is stealing, it doesn't matter where it's from. If it's from a somebody's billfold laying on the sidewalk or someone laying there dead, it's still stealing," Shelley said.
Clayton remains behind bars on a $10,000 bond.
Although the investigation is ongoing, Everett doesn't believe Clayton knew Bermlin. At this point, there are no signs of foul play, however that could change as the investigation continues.
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