The body of a No Frills Supermarket employee who went missing in 2009 was found behind one of the store’s coolers.
In January, workers removing coolers and shelves at the former grocery store in Council Bluffs, Iowa discovered the remains of Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada behind a cooler.
The store had been closed for three years when contractors uncovered him. An autopsy found there were no signs of trauma and the case is being ruled as an accidental death.
According to Council Bluffs Police Capt. Todd Weddum, investigators used Murillo-Moncada’s parents’ DNA to confirm the identity of his remains. They also found the clothing matched what Murillo-Moncada been wearing at the time of his disappearance.
In November 2009, Murillo-Moncada’s parents had reported their 25-year-old son missing after he became upset and ran out of the house during a snowstorm.
Police Sgt. Brandon Danielson told the Des Moines Register that “he left with no shoes, no socks, no keys, no car.”
Weddum said parents believed he’d been acting irrationally because of medication he was taking.
Investigators believe, after he ran away, Murillo-Moncada went into the storage area in the supermarket and climbed on top of one of the coolers.
Weddum said employees would occasionally perch on the cooling units whenever they wanted to take an unofficial break. In a police statement, investigators believe Murillo-Moncada had fallen into the 45-centimetre gap between the wall and the cooler.
Murillo-Moncada wasn’t scheduled to work that day so fellow employees didn’t know he was there.
His cries for help likely went unanswered because the noise from the coolers’ compressors would have muffled any sounds.
Danielson told CNN-affiliate KETV that this was one of the more unusual cases the department has dealt with.
“You don't hear about these type of cases -- people found in walls,” he said. “We have missing person cases all the time, but this is just unique.”