Missing South Carolina Man Died After Falling Into Shredding Machine at Work, Coroner Says

Shredder death
Duncan Alexander Burrell Gordon.Handout

The young man was reported missing in May after he vanished from his job at a recycling plant, authorities said.

A 20-year-old South Carolina man reported missing in May was killed when he fell into a shredding machine, a coroner ruled Wednesday.

Duncan Alexander Burrell Gordon vanished in early May from his job at Industrial Recovery and Recycling in the state's northern city of Greer.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said small pieces of a human body were found around the machine, and that DNA testing matched Gordon's parents. The coroner's office was called into the investigation in June, a moth after Gordon disappeared.

The machine Gordon had been operating when he was last seen had been inspected three times before the small pieces of remains were found on a conveyor belt, authorities said.

It was first checked by Gordon’s father, Mike Gordon, a supervisor at the plant, then by sheriff's deputies and a K-9 team, and then a third time after bloody traces were discovered under the conveyor belt, investigators said.

“I can confirm the material is consistent with human fat, microscopically minute particles of skin and small pieces of bone,” the coroner said in a statement.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating the incident, authorities said.

The coroner said he is unable to issue a death certificate without a body, saying the recovered material weighed only about two ounces. The state has other avenues to pursue to certifying a death, he said.

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