The body of an Iowa man who vanished after running out of his parents’ home without any shoes on 10 years ago has been found behind a cooler at the supermarket where he worked, officials said.
Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada was reported missing Nov. 28, 2009.
The 25-year-old man had worked the Thanksgiving shift at No Frills Supermarket in Council Bluffs two nights earlier and when he returned home the morning of Nov. 27, he seemed disoriented, his mother told The Daily Nonpareil at the time.
Murillo-Moncada’s condition worsened and though his mother took him to a doctor, he began to hear voices and hallucinate.
“He said somebody was following him, and he was scared,” his mother told the paper through a translator.
By the evening of Nov. 28, Murillo-Moncada’s delusions, which loved ones said may have been caused by medication he was taking, spurred him out into a snowstorm without shoes. It was the last time his family saw him alive.
Law enforcement launched an extensive search for Murillo-Moncada, contacting other relatives, other police departments, nearby detention centers and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as the Honduran immigrant had once before been deported before making his way back to the U.S., but no one appeared to have any information about his whereabouts.
Then in January of this year, workers busy at removing shelves and coolers from the property that once held the No Frills Supermarket in Council Bluffs discovered a body, CNN reported.
The remains, still in clothes that matched the description of what Murillo-Moncada was last seen wearing, were wedged in an 18-inch gap between a wall and the coolers, authorities said.
Last week, DNA testing confirmed the remains were that of Murillo-Moncada, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation told The Washington Post.
Investigators visited the grocery store at the time of Murillo-Moncada’s disappearance, but his boss said he didn’t know where he would have gone and said he wasn’t scheduled to work that day, officials told KPTM-TV.
A former employee at the store told investigators the space above the coolers was used as storage and that sometimes workers climbed up there to take unofficial breaks.
It is believed Murillo-Moncada climbed on top of the coolers, but fell and became trapped in the gap. Any cries for help would have been muffled by the noise of the coolers’ compressions, officials said.
“It’s so loud, there’s probably no way anyone heard him,” Sgt. Brandon Danielson told the Des Moines Register.
An autopsy found no signs of trauma and Murillo-Moncada’s death was classified as an accident.