Police: Death Of Man Found In Trash Truck Ruled Accidental

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Police say they no longer suspect foul play in the case of a man found dead at a Wichita recycling center.

Workers from the Waste Connections Recycling Center discovered the body of 49-year-old Dale Archuleta on Friday after making several stops throughout the night.

Investigators say the man was intoxicated when he crawled into a dumpster outside a south Wichita motel. Police believe the man died when the truck compacted its load.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

UPDATE

Wichita Police are not releasing the identity of a body found among items thrown out for recycling. The investigation started after a 911 call came in from the Waste Connections recycling center at 29th and Ohio around 6:00 a.m. Friday. Police say two trash haulers were dumping what they had collected overnight when they discovered a body.

"You see it on TV with the investigation shows and the CSI shows but it really hits home when it's right there personal for you," said Waste Connections Municipal Marketing Director Don Rogers.

Police say workers noticed something was wrong as they were dumping recyclables inside the center, and that's when a routine day on the job turned into anything but that.

"Definitely not a routine, and it's something you don't want to have [happen], obviously. It's pretty traumatic for everybody involved," said Rogers.

Waste Connections immediately called 911 after finding who police believe to be a middle-aged man, dead. The company handed the facility over to authorities who wouldn't have an easy task ahead of them, in determining exactly how the man may have gotten there.

"We don't know whether this is an incident where someone falls into a recycle dumpster, or someone was put there. We don't know that yet," said Wichita Police Lt. Doug Nolte.

Police also don't yet know where the body came from, as the workers who discovered the victim had made over 50 stops throughout the night. They could have picked the body up at any one of them, before finding it buried among recycled cardboard. It's a reality Waste Connections says is hard on everyone involved.

"It's unfortunate for the employees and for the families obviously that are without a loved one at this time," said Rogers.

The Waste Connections facility remained closed through the day, so the company had to re-route trucks in order to maintain service to customers. Company directors say they're not sure how long authorities will need them to keep the center closed, but they will be continuing to cooperate with authorities.

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Just after 6 o'clock this morning, trash workers were emptying their truck in the 2800 block of N. Ohio when they found a body inside.

The body is that of a middle-aged man and was found at the Waste Connections Recycling Center as a truck was being unloaded after making 50-60 stops.

Police are still trying to identify the body and are calling the man's death suspicious.

No further details have been released.

Stay with KAKE News and kake.com for updates.


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