Police: Man found dead in trash chute may have fallen

Investigation continues into unusual death

August 13, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

An autopsy suggests that a man found dead in a downtown apartment building trash chute might have fallen into it, according to police.

The man, who has not been identified, had injuries "consistent with a bad fall," said Anthony Guglielmi, the Police Department's chief spokesman. The state medical examiner and homicide detectives continue to probe the death, which occurred at the Park Charles apartment building in the 200 block of N. Charles St., he said.

"It would be very difficult for someone to have put a body in the trash compactor without more signs [of a struggle] on the body," Guglielmi said. "We don't know why he would go down the trash chute or if he was impaired by anything, but that's where we are, and that's where the evidence is taking us."

Police have not received any reports of a missing person and had knocked on several doors trying to discover the man's identity. They are awaiting fingerprint analysis as well as toxicology results.

The body was discovered by building staff about 10 a.m. Thursday, police said. Police blocked off the street-level parking garage and interviewed residents and employees.

Police believe the man fell into the chute from around the 20th floor of the 26-story building, which includes apartments and offices.

Residents of the building said a note was tucked under their doors from building management that read, "Today an isolated incident occurred on the community that resulted in a death. We have no details at this time."

Current and former tenants said the trash chutes on each floor have a spring-mounted door that residents must pull. Justin Sausville, 29, a former resident of the building, said the opening is about 3 feet high by 2 feet across, and opens on an angle.

Another resident, who did not want to be identified, said he usually has to "push a little bit" to get a standard garbage bag to fit into the opening.

But such incidents are not unheard of. A 34-year-old man fell 25 stories down a garbage chute in New York last year after jumping out of a cab without paying and running into a luxury apartment building, according to news reports. In February, a Central Illinois man became stuck in a trash chute and suffocated.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.



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