Deputies used fingerprints to identify the man, who is a 43-year-old who has had some minor brushes with the law in the past, Sheriff’s Sgt. Don Barker said. His identification is being withheld until relatives can be notified.
“There are no signs of obvious foul play,” Barker said.
Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans said the man was very tan, had 62 cents in his pocket and was wearing jeans and a shirt with no shoes. He stood 5-feet, 11-inches tall and weighed 160 pounds.
An autopsy will be performed Thursday, but it appears the man died after being crushed over and over by the compacting device in a garbage truck, Evans said.
No identification was found and there was no evidence of a gunshot, a blow to the head or other injuries, Evans said.
It is possible he was homeless and fell asleep in a recycling bin, which are sometimes used by homeless people as a place to sleep, Evans said.
It also is possible that someone put the body in the container, he said.
The center was recycling items that came from Elyria, Lorain and Amherst, according to the coroner.
The investigation is continuing, but Evans said, “I’m leaning towards it being an accident.”
Barker said the Sheriff’s Department was alerted at 8:17 a.m. that the body had been found at the Lorain County Resource Recovery Complex, which is part of the landfill operation on Elyria-Oberlin Road.
At the complex, items to be recycled are sorted using a conveyor belt, Barker said.
“His body came out on the belt,” he said.