Claim: Police in New Jersey found a body that had lain undisturbed for five years under a motel bed.
Example: [Collected via Facebook, July 2014]
A dead body found under hotel bed after 5 years … ewww … true?
Origins: On 24 July 2014, Empire News published an article positing that police in
Stunning news this morning out of New Jersey, as reports of police discovering the body of a young woman under a motel bed have been confirmed. The owners of the motel asked that their name and location be omitted from news reports to protect their business.
The body, which has yet to be identified, was found by a person staying in the room.
“I dropped the television remote, and when I went to check under the bed I found her. It was like something out of a scary movie,” said Aaron Silver, the man staying in the room.
According to initial reports by the medical examiner on-scene, it appears as though the body lay undisturbed in the room for about
Soon afterwards links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news article. Although there have been several genuine cases of bodies being discovered under motel room beds (albeit none after so nearly so lengthy a time span as five years), the Empire News article was just a spoof.
Empire News is one of many fake news sites that publishes fictional stories such as “Cure for Cancer Discovered; ‘Amazingly Simple’ Says Researcher,” and “College Student Excused from Classes After Dog Eats Grandmother,” and “Woman Gives Birth, Confuses Doctors by Asking for Maternity Test.” Their disclaimer page notes that Empire News “is a satirical and entertainment website.”
Last updated: 29 July 2014
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.