Man's body found in trash can in Little Italy neighborhood
Garbage scavenger came across corpse Monday morning
08/24/2011 10:00 PM
A dead man’s body was found in a garbage can in Little Italy on Monday morning, according to the Chicago Police Department.
The body was found by a scavenger rummaging through garbage cans in the alley behind the 1400 block of West Flournoy Street around 9:30 a.m., police said.
A representative from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said the clothed body was a white male. They did not have information on approximate age.
The body was not decomposed, the examiner’s office said, so the death was relatively recent. A cause of death had not been determined as of Tuesday afternoon, pending toxicology reports among other things, the examiner’s office said.
Police said Area 4 detectives are calling it a basic death investigation at this point, rather than a homicide investigation, because they didn’t have an official cause of death yet.
“Before detectives can reclassify it as a homicide investigation, they would need to get a ruling from the Medical Examiner’s Office,” police News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety said.
Several neighbors who live on the relatively quiet block said they didn’t hear anything, but said finding out about the mysterious body was unnerving.
Joanne LaCassa said she’s lived in Little Italy all her life. She’s seen people come and go, and as the University of Illinois at Chicago crept up on her, some of the neighborhood feel of Flournoy was lost.
But in her 24 years in her current home, she’d never seen anything like this — and it scared her.
“When I heard about it my hair stood up. It gave me the chills,” LaCassa said Monday afternoon. “We care, we’ve been here all our lives. We don’t want anything like that here in our alley.”
LaCassa’s neighbor a few doors down, a retiree in whose garbage can the body was found, said she hadn’t taken anything out to the trash in a week. Clearly rattled by the experience, she called the discovery of the corpse “a shocker,” but asked that her name not be printed.
Joab Salvador just moved into his new apartment in the 1400 block of Lexington Street, on the other side of the alley from where the body was found. A 20-year-old transfer student to UIC, he just moved to the neighborhood last week and was more than a little perturbed.
“I was terrified, to be honest,” Salvador said Monday. “I put it on my Facebook, and my parents called me all freaked out. Seeing things like this, it’s pretty scary.”
Commander Dennis Keane of the Chicago Police Department’s 12th District, when asked about the case at an unrelated event, said everybody’s waiting on the autopsy report at this point. But it’s a safe neighborhood, he said.
“It still remains a quiet block,” Keane said.