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A Supermarket Worker Vanished 10 Years Ago-His Body Was Found Behind A Cooler

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When Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada’s parents last saw him on Nov. 28, 2009, he was running out of their house in Council Bluffs, Iowa, barefoot into the middle of a snowstorm.A missing-person report was filed. Calls were made to family friends. Fliers popped up around the city just east of Omaha. But the efforts yielded little information on the whereabouts of the 25-year-old, the Daily Nonpareil reported at the time. He appeared to have vanished. Now, almost a decade later, Murillo-Moncada’s family finally has some answers to questions that have long surrounded the young man’s vexing disappearance. Where did he go? What happened to him? The Council Bluffs Police Department announced Monday that for all those years, Murillo-Moncada’s body had been less than a mile away from his home at a supermarket where he worked — behind the store’s coolers.
“You don’t hear about these types of cases, people found in walls, especially in this area,” Sgt. Brandon Danielson told KETV in Omaha. “We have missing persons all the time, but this is just unique.”


A day before Murillo-Moncada disappeared, his mother, Ana, told the Daily Nonpareil through an interpreter that her son had come home after a Thanksgiving shift at the supermarket and seemed disoriented. She took him to a doctor and he was prescribed an antidepressant, but the medication didn’t appear to help, the newspaper reported. The feeling of confusion persisted and Murillo-Moncada started to hear voices, Ana said. Then came the hallucinations. “He said somebody was following him, and he was scared,” said Maria Stockton, a friend of the family who served as the interpreter. At 6:15 p.m. on that frigid November evening, Murillo-Moncada rushed out the door wearing no shoes or socks, dressed only in a navy blue hoodie and light blue pants, according to the Daily Nonpareil. He left behind his keys and car, Danielson told the Des Moines Register on Monday. Despite the combined efforts of his family and law enforcement officials, the case went cold — until this year, when workers arrived at the vacant No Frills Supermarkets store in January.

The grocery store where Murillo-Moncada worked before he went missing shuttered in 2016, and a contractor had been called to remove its shelving units and coolers, police said in a statement Monday. In the roughly 18-inch gap between the wall and the coolers, the workers made a grisly discovery: a decaying body. “This is the first time in my career that I’ve seen a body in this type of condition,” Danielson, who was assigned to the case in 2009, told KPTM in Omaha. Though the body was too badly decomposed for a visual identification to be made, Danielson said he immediately thought that it might be Murillo-Moncada.

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