Decaying body found on Baltimore trash heap Cause of death, identity unknown

February 16, 1993|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A badly decomposed human body, possibly that of a female who met with foul play, was found yesterday in a trash bag thrown into a pile of refuse behind an East Baltimore house, city police reported.

The body was found shortly before 4 p.m. by workers cleaning trash out of an alley near the 1700 block of Ashland Ave. One of the trash bags ripped during removal, revealing the skeletal remains, police said.

Homicide detectives said the body appears to be that of a female but due to the extensive decomposition, it wasn't immediately possible to determine the victim's age or gender.

The body was sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Foul play is suspected, but there were no obvious signs as to the cause of death, police said.

The body was in a large black trash bag lying with about 10 other trash bags in a refuse heap created by neighborhood residents. The heap, alongside an alley called Arnold Court, has been there for several months, neighborhood residents said.

Police said the spot has been used as an unauthorized trash dump. City workers had cleaned up the heap last November but refuse has been steadily piling up since then, prompting a landlord of one of the properties there to hire a cleanup crew yesterday, police said.

Officials from the medical examiner's office checked the body at the scene and discovered a large hole in the middle of the victim's back. But police said it wasn't a gunshot wound and was probably made by an object the body was lying on.

Police said they were not sure how long the body had been in the trash heap.

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