Body of grocery store clerk missing for 10 years found behind cooler

Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada's remains were found behind a cooler at a grocery store after he went missing for 10 years.

Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada, 25, was reported missing from his home in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in November 2009. He had run out the house barefoot into sub-zero temperatures, and his family never saw him again.

His mom had a feeling that his disappearance was linked to the No Frills grocery store where he worked.

Now, after nearly 10 years, police have confirmed her theory.

Council Bluffs police announced on Monday that Murillo-Moncada’s remains were found behind a cooler at the grocery store, which has been closed since 2016. Authorities say he likely fell behind the cooler, where his body stayed for years.

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His remains were found in January when cleanup crews were removing shelves from the now-defunct grocery store. Forensic investigators later tested the remains and determined that they belonged to Murillo-Moncada.

“The mother had an idea that he has never left No Frills,” Sgt. Brandon Danielson told KETV in Omaha on Monday. “I don’t know how she came up with that idea, but were pretty upset.”

Murillo-Moncada was last seen running out of his family home on a snowy day in Council Bluffs on Nov. 28, 2009. He was not dressed for the weather and did not have keys or a car, Danielson said.

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Police in Council Bluffs say Murillo-Moncada must have fallen behind the cooler at the No Frills and become trapped in a space approximately 45 centimetres wide. An autopsy showed that he did not suffer any traumatic injuries.

“In speaking to former employees of No Frills, it was common for workers to be on top of the coolers, as the space was utilized for storing goods,” police said in a statement posted on Facebook.

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“You don’t hear about these types of cases, people found in walls, especially in this area,” Sgt. Danielson said. “We have missing person cases all the time, but this is just unique.”

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