Police have made a gruesome discovery inside a charity donation bin after a passerby reported a foul smell coming from inside.
Investigators found a decomposed body inside the bin on New Year’s Eve in Lugoff, in the US state of South Carolina. They believe the body is female, based on the clothing, and had been in the bin for “months”.
The bin – located between a hotel and a Toyota dealership – hadn’t been emptied for years, local media reported, with VHS tapes among a number of items inside.
A Google street view image shows the rusty blue bin with a sign reading “Clothing & Shoes Drop-Off”. It stands alone along a pothole-filled road, with the back of the bin appearing to be damaged in the bottom corner.
It’s unclear how the person died, however police are treating the investigation as a homicide. One theory was that the person may have died while trying to climb into the bin to stay warm, however the remains were too decomposed for the death to tie in with the county’s recent cold snap.
Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan told media the body was found around 8.45am.
“Unfortunately, it appears the body has possibly been there for months. It was badly decomposed and mostly skeletal,” he said.
Staff at the Camden West Inn told WACH Fox News police took the entire bin away as part of their investigation. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
Aussie mums found dead in charity bins
In 2021, two Australian women were found dead inside donation bins just months apart.
In April, 43-year-old Mikki O’Shea, also known as Charmaine, was found dead by a member of the public trapped in the bin near a shopping centre on the Gold Coast.
A Queensland Police spokeswoman told Yahoo News Australia at the time it appeared the bin lid had come down on the woman. Firefighters had to cut her body free.
In July that same year, Alarrah Lawrence, 33, was looking inside a Good Sammys clothing donation bin outside a WA shopping centre when she became “trapped and unable to remove herself”, police told reporters.
Ms Lawrence was seen on CCTV approaching the bins alone at about 1.40am. Her body was found by a member of the public at around 5am, "half in, half out" of the bin. It's believed she died from asphyxiation.
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