Authorities in South Carolina have determined that a man who was reported missing on May 5 fell into a plastic shredding machine at a recycling center. Duncan Alexander Burrell Gordon, 20, was last seen working on the machine at Industrial Recovery and Recycling.
While Gordon’s father, who worked as a supervisor at the plant, checked the machine, he found no evidence that his son had fallen into it. Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger noted that the machine had been checked a total of four times and had processed around 60,000 pounds of plastic in the two months since Gordon was reported missing.
During one of the inspections, a detective found what appeared to be human remains underneath a conveyor belt. When the remains tested positive for human blood, they contacted the coroner’s office, which dispatched a forensic anthropologist and a forensic pathologist to examine the remains and the machine.
“I can confirm the material is consistent with human fat, microscopically minute particles of skin, and small pieces of bone,” Clevenger said in a news release.
Investigators are trying to determine how Gordon fell into the machine and if any safety violations occurred at the recycling plant.
“We have contacted the family and recycling operation about this matter. We are unable to issue a conventional death certificate in this matter. State regulations require another remedy for the family to get closure because there is nobody. The family has been made aware of the process,” Clevenger said.