The story of a missing Iowa man made a tragic turn due to a shocking discovery this week.
According to PEOPLE, Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada’s body was found at a local No Frills Supermarket stuffed behind a refrigerator in January, 10 years after he was reported missing and three years after the store shut down.
On Monday, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation as well as the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office and Council Bluff’s Police Department announced that the body discovered earlier this year at the old supermarket was in fact Murillo-Moncada.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter!
According to Sgt. Brandon Danielson of the CBPD, Murillo-Moncada was an employee of the supermarket before he went missing at 25 years old. His parents put out the missing report on November 28, 2009 after they said he became upset and stormed out of their home. At the time they argued that their son was acting irrationally, possibly because he was on a certain medication.
Sgt. Danielson explained that the weather conditions were rough the day Murillo-Moncada left his home.
“It was a snowstorm at the time. He left with no shoes, no socks, no keys, no car,” he said, adding that Murillo-Moncada wasn’t scheduled to work at the time he came to the supermarket.
Management at No Frills pointed out that employees often entered and exited the store, however, despite not having a shift.
In mid-January of this year, Murillo-Moncada’s body was found when workers with a contracting firm were taking down shelves and coolers in the empty building, according to Sgt. Danielson. At that point, the building had been closed for three years. Authorities were able to identify Murillo-Moncada using his biological parents’ DNA. His clothes also matched what he was reported to be wearing at the time he went missing, according to Sgt. Danielson.
The autopsy performed on Murillo-Moncada’s body showed no signs of trauma, but the story criminal investigators have pieced together is still tragic.
Text “RICKEY” to 71007 to join the Rickey Smiley Morning Show mobile club for exclusive news. (Terms and conditions).
After leaving home on that snowy night in 2009, authorities believe Murillo-Moncada went to the No Frills supermarket and climbed on top of the cooler where he accidentally fell into an 18-inch gap between the wall and the cooler, causing him to be trapped. The scenario seemed plausible since former employees told authorities that it was common for workers to be in the storage room on top of coolers. Council Bluffs Police Capt. Todd Weddum also explained that the employees would retreat to the room to hide when they wanted to take an “unofficial break.” The hidden location and major gap were probably the reasons Murillo-Moncada was never found, according to police.
“That’s about a 12-foot fall,” Sgt. Danielson said. “The noise of the freezer units also could have made it difficult to hear any cries for help. It’s so loud, there’s probably no way anyone heard him.”