On January 24, 2019, workers removing shelves and coolers from a former No Frills Supermarket in Council Bluffs, Iowa, made a shocking discovery – a mummified body of a former employee Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada.
Murillo-Moncada had been reported missing on November 28, 2009, after running away from his parents’ home. They’ve told police that he was acting irrationally, possibly because of medication he was taking.
Victim’s mother, Ana Moncada, said her son had been prescribed an antidepressant days before he went missing and began hearing voices.
In 2009, Maria Stockton, a translator for Murillo-Moncada’s mother, said:
‘He was hearing voices that said ‘Eat sugar.” He felt his heart was beating too hard and thought if he ate sugar, his heart would not beat so hard.’
Investigators believe that on the day of his disappearance, Murillo-Moncada went to the supermarket, climbed on top of the coolers and fell into the 18-inch gap between the back of the cooler and a wall, where he became trapped. Noise from the coolers’ compressors may have concealed any attempts to call for help.
Former employees at No Frills told that workers were often on top of the cooler because the area was used to store items. Employees also went there to hide when they wanted an unofficial break.
An autopsy found no signs of trauma, and the case has been deemed an accidental death.
When asked how did Murillo-Moncada’s dead body go unnoticed for such a long time, Sgt. Brandon Danielson told True Crime Magazine:
“The police department did not receive any call for service at that location for any suspicious fluids or smells or viewing a body behind a large cooler unit. Just FYI, Larry Murrillo went missing from his home located in the area of Avenue H and North 14th Street during a snowstorm.”
“The concentrated search area was in that general location as well as open fields, parks, and rail yards, which were close to his home. There was never evidence or witnesses placing him at the store during the time he went missing, nor was he scheduled to work the night he went missing. The first indication he was actually at the store came in January of 2019 when his remains were located. If we knew he was at this store when he went missing, we would have gone through the store with a fine-tooth comb, but that was not the case.”