The bloodied body of a collaborator on "Curious George" books and films was found covered in garbage bags in the driveway of his home.
Alan Shalleck's body was there for at least a day while neighbors passed by, assuming it was a heap of trash, before a maintenance man discovered it Tuesday. Police were treating the case as a possible homicide, spokeswoman Sgt. Gladys Cannon said, but she wouldn't disclose details about how he died.
Shalleck, 76, was the writer and director of more than 100 short episodes of "Curious George," which aired on the Disney Channel, and co-wrote a series of books with Margret Rey, who created the mischievous monkey with her husband more than 60 years ago.
A trail of blood stained the terra cotta driveway in front of Shalleck's mobile home, where the man's outstretched body lay behind a blue Honda Civic parked under a carport. Maintenance supervisor Burt Venturelli, 62, found the body early Tuesday.
"I went to drag it this morning and said 'this is a body, this isn't garbage,"'Venturelli said. He said the body was naked from the waist up. "I could seeblood all over the place."
Shalleck co-wrote more than 28 "Curious George" books and helped write anddirect 104 film shorts. The monkey, created in 1939 by Hans and Margret Rey,makes his big screen debut Friday in movie theaters nationwide.
A Syracuse University drama major, Shalleck got his start in 1950 in the CBSmailroom, working his way up to associate producer for "Winky Dink and You," amorning show during which kids drew on a plastic film placed on the TV screen.He later produced children's films and formed his own company.
Shalleck approached Margret Rey about bringing "Curious George" to film in1977.
"I got $500 per 'Curious George' story, no royalties, no residuals," Shallecktold The Palm Beach Post in 1997.
But the experience of working with Margret Rey was the high point of his life,he added.
Shalleck said after Rey's 1996 death that she and her husband were children atheart -- the opposite of controlling, patronizing parents or teachers, enablingthem to identify with their audience.
"They always considered little children as little people and wanted to writefor them as little people," he told The Associated Press in 1996.