Résumé Said ‘Body Collector’; Now It’s ‘Former Body Collector’
Mike Thomas, the rapper/body collector for the Wayne County morgue in Detroit has been “suspended indefinitely” after he was the subject of a profile on Monday in The New York Times and an accompanying video on the paper’s Web site.
A statement from his employer, Professional Removal Services, which has a contract with the morgue, said Mr. Thomas had been “suspended indefinitely without pay pending an investigation.”
“I told Mike not to talk to the media, and he did it anyway,” said the company’s owner, Eric Orr. “It’s company policy not to talk about the job.”
But Mr. Orr said the policy is not in writing.
“He really didn’t make the city look too good,” he added. “I saw the video.”
Mr. Thomas, 36, said that he might not have gone to college, but that he knew the meaning of suspended indefinitely: “Permanent vacation.”
Mr. Orr’s county contract is up at the end of this month, but the answering machine for Professional Removal Services advertises a position available: body technician.
“I was just telling my life story,” Mr. Thomas said by telephone. “This is America, right? Don’t we still got freedom of speech?”
He has three children, no car and, now, no job — a bad combination when you live in the poorest big city in America.
The body job paid $14 dollars a corpse, though it did have its drawbacks: picking body parts from Dumpsters, ferrying corpses in an unrefrigerated van.
Mr. Thomas said he hoped his recent notoriety had hatched an entertainment career. Record people have been to his producer’s Web site, he said, and filmmakers are pitching the idea of a reality show based on his life.
“I got some other options,” Mr. Thomas said.