Employees Find Human Remains At Waste Processing Site

Tuesday, February 7th 2017, 9:53 pm
By: News 9

Workers made a dreadful discovery Tuesday at a Waste Management facility in northwest Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said police were notified about 11:45 a.m. when body parts were found in a trash bale at the facility located at 5519 NW 4.

Knight said the body was unknowingly brought to the facility in one of the company's trucks.

The facility is a central location for Waste Management trucks operating across the metro. 

The collections are shredded, compacted and baled.

Investigators were on the scene for hours, processing the evidence, but there are still a lot of unknowns. 

"We don't know which store or which location the trash was picked up from," said Knight. 

Police have not determined how the person ended up in the dumpster but they've seen it before. 

"Unfortunately, it happens where a transient (a homeless person) will end up in the back of one of those trucks because they are either going in looking for trash in a dumpster or they pass out in one of the dumpsters, but we don’t know that that is what happened in this case," Knight said.

The Homeless Alliance, a nonprofit organization working to end homelessness in Oklahoma City, fears that outcome is more likely than not.

"When something like this happens that's my first fear," Homeless Alliance Executive Director Dan Straughan said. "We've had it happen before." 

On Jan. 26, a trash truck reportedly emptied a bin at 300 NW 23 and a homeless man fell into the truck. He was unharmed. 

In 2002, a homeless man who was dumped out of a trash bin by a garbage truck was crushed by the truck and killed in Oklahoma City. 

Straughan said they are not typically seeking shelter in the dumpsters.

"It wasn't so much that they were getting in the dumpster for shelter but that they were dumpster diving for food or bottles and in excessively inebriated state they fell in and passed out," he said. 

Straughan said if citizens see something like that occur there are a number of outreach teams to call, including one at the Oklahoma City Police Department.

He said there are also a number of resources in the state, including seven shelters, that can help the homeless. For more information, click here

Oklahoma City police have not identified the remains found Tuesday. Police said it is too soon to determine what happened in this case.