/Man found dead in vacant grocery store 10 years after he disappeared

Man found dead in vacant grocery store 10 years after he disappeared

Ten years after an Iowa man mysteriously disappeared, his body was discovered wedged behind a cooler in a vacant grocery store where he used to work, police said.

In 2009, Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada was a 25-year-old working at a No Frills Supermarket store in Council Bluffs, said Council Bluffs police officials.

On Nov. 28, 2009, Murillo-Moncada’s parents reported him missing, telling authorities that their son “became upset and ran out of their home,” said police.

He was never seen alive again.

PHOTO: An undated photo of Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada. He disappeared in 2009 and his body was found trapped inside a grocery store in 2019.Council Bluffs Police Department

An undated photo of Larry Ely Murillo-Moncada. He disappeared in 2009 and his body was found trapped inside a grocery store in 2019.

A decade later, on Jan. 24, 2019, crews were removing shelving and coolers at the now-vacant grocery store and discovered a body, said police. Last week Council Bluffs police learned from the state investigators that the body was identified as Murillo-Moncada, police officials announced Monday.

Investigators believe Murillo-Moncada ran from his home, went to the grocery store, climbed on the coolers, and then fell into a roughly 18-inch gap between the back of the cooler and the wall and became trapped, said police.

The death has been classified as accidental, police said. His autopsy indicates no signs of trauma, said police.

PHOTO: The former location of the No Frills Supermarket in Council Bluffs, Iowa.Google Maps Street View

The former location of the No Frills Supermarket in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The store wasn’t searched when Murillo-Moncada went missing because he wasn’t scheduled to work that day, Council Bluffs police Sgt. Ted Roberts told ABC News. The cooler was in a back room and not in public view, he said.

Roberts said employees would often climb up onto the cooler to relax while on breaks.

It’s unknown how Murillo-Moncada fell down the 18-inch gap behind the cooler, Roberts said. But he noted that if Murillo-Moncada had fallen sideways and gotten wedged in, he likely wouldn’t have been able to scream for help — especially over the noise of the coolers.

It’s also not clear how the smell of a decaying body was never detected, Roberts said.

The grocery store closed in 2016, according to Omaha ABC affiliate KETV.