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Missing Worker's Body Was in Supermarket for 10 Years

Iowa man was trapped in gap behind freezer units
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2019 4:20 AM CDT
Updated Jul 28, 2019 3:00 PM CDT
Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada.   (Council Bluffs Police Department)

(Newser) – Workers removing old freezer units from a former supermarket in Council Bluffs, Iowa, earlier this year made a horrifying discovery: the body of a worker who vanished almost a decade earlier. Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada, 25, was reported missing Nov. 28, 2009, after he became upset and ran out of his parents' home. "It was a snowstorm at the time," Sgt. Brandon Danielson tells the Des Moines Register. "He left with no shoes, no socks, no keys, no car." Relatives said a day earlier, after Murillo-Moncada finished a shift at the No Frills supermarket, he seemed disoriented and said he was hearing voices. Police believe Murillo-Moncada went to the supermarket after leaving the home, climbed on top of the freezer units, and fell into an 18-inch gap between the back of the units and the wall.

Police say Murillo-Moncada—who was 5-foot-5 and weighed 140 pounds—fell about 12 feet into the area where he was trapped. They say the noise of the units would have made it impossible for anyone to hear cries for help. No Frills closed the store in 2016, reports the Omaha World-Herald. Former employees say the top of the freezer units were used for storage and it was not unusual for workers to be up there. Authorities said Monday that the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation had used DNA from relatives to identify Murillo-Moncada. They said an autopsy revealed no signs of trauma and the death was ruled accidental. (The new occupants of a Houston home found the skeleton of the previous owner in the attic.)

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