Two men from skid row suffer gruesome bone-crushing deaths, crushed in garbage compactors in Tallahassee, Fla., landfill
Crushed bodies of two homeless men William J. “Jay” Norris, 45, and Anthony D. Todd, 43, were found two months apart at the Leon County waste transfer station
Deaths of the two who are unconnected and never met have been ruled accidents
Investigators said the men took refuge in a dumpster, fell asleep and went unnoticed when they were lifted into the city garbage trucks that delivered them to the crushing stations.
Both men shared a history of alcoholism
Two men, it has been reported, who likely never met died in the same manner at the Leon County waste transfer station in Tallahassee, Florida.
The bodies of William J. “Jay” Norris and Anthony D. Todd were found two months apart at the Leon County waste transfer station. Investigators have ruled that they fell asleep in dumpsters that city garbage trucks emptied and were killed in the maw of the trash compactor.
43-year-old Anthony D. Todd was a longtime homeless resident of Tallahassee, while William Norris was a more recent arrival.
William Norris died a homeless alcoholic, crushed in a garbage compactor: Ex-wife sandy said “William had a high-paying job and simply woke up one day deciding to be an alcoholic”
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office said no foul play was involved, in the fatal events that led to both deaths. The two deaths were purely accidental and seemingly avoidable.
Their deaths raise questions about the safety of trash bins and whether enough precautions are in place to prevent people from getting trapped in trucks’ compactors.
“It’s a dilemma,” said Pastor Glenn Burns of Good Samaritan Network of Tallahassee. According to Pastor Burns inspite of the outreach efforts to let people on the streets know about a place to get a blanket, a hot meal and a safe place to sleep, some just won’t spend a night in a shelter. Instead, they seek the woods and other alternatives to a cozy environment.
Perry Kalip was working a bulldozer to load trash onto semi-trucks at the waste transfer station one August day when he saw legs sticking out of a trash pile.
At first, he thought it was a mannequin. But then Kalip touched the legs with his finger.
Workers investigate finding the first crushed body at the Leon County waste transfer station in Tallahassee, Fla. It was identified as belonging to Anthony Todd, a 43-year-old homeless man
Workers cleared the debris and uncovered the body of a man clothed in a dark gray shirt, dark shorts, dark socks and a Sketcher shoe on one foot. The left leg was badly disfigured, like from a serious injury.
A tattoo on his upper right arm read “Todd.” A search of the victim’s pockets unearthed a piece of paper from “Star Metro” and a credit/debit card with the name of Anthony Todd.
“It was raining the night before and morning of the dumpster pickup, so it is likely that [Anthony] Todd was inside the dumpster at the time.”
The body had prominent scars that helped further identify him.
Pastor Burns said that during a recent National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day for the 28 people in this area who died while homeless. Anthony Todd’s name was on that list.
“Our list was the longest it’s ever been this year,” Burns said.
They didn’t all die in dumpsters. Many died from illnesses related to chronic drug and alcohol abuse. Others had mental illnesses or were combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“It’s a never-ending battle,” Burns said. “Sometimes it takes years for them to develop trust with you to take next step.”
Anthony Todd, a month away from his 44th birthday, had been homeless for years. He suffered from seizures and drank heavily
Anthony Todd who frequently hung out at a walled-in dumpster in the back of the parking lot near a drive-through was from his 44th birthday had been living on the streets for years.
He drank heavily, although he suffered from seizures. Wanda Ann Todd said her brother suffered from recurring seizures since birth and was on medication, which she herself bought for him. Still the seizures persisted. He would sometimes pass out and sleep for hours afterward. Todd frequently slept in the dumpster.
Investigators believe Todd may have climbed into a dumpster one rainy night to stay dry, had a seizure, fell into a deep sleep, and did not awaken when the garbage truck came to empty the contents of the dumpster.
“It was raining the night before and morning of the dumpster pickup, so it is likely that Todd was inside the dumpster at the time,” investigators reported. The victim likely was inside the dumpster despite signs warning people to stay out because of a crushing hazard.
Investigators found several personal effects, clothing, a lighter, cigarette packs, a bag of lottery tickets, and mail addressed to Anthony Todd.
The crushed William Norris was found by Myron Henry, a heavy-equipment operator at the transfer station, was operating a front-end loader moving trash around when he saw a body visible from the torso up among the trash. Investigating deputies saw the body’s right arm was broken above the elbow and had “significant trauma to the head.”
The body was clothed in a blue T-shirt, tan and gray checked shorts and gray tennis shoes.
On his body and clothing, they found his driver’s license, a black Samsung Android smartphone, its case, Publix gift cards, assorted credit cards, rewards cards, health insurance cards, headphones, a broken disposable razor, Merrell shoes, a beaded necklace and black bracelet.
Workers investigate the occurrence of a second crushed body at the Leon County waste transfer station. The body was later identified as belonging to William jay Norris
According to his first wife Sandy, whom William Norris met and married in college while both attended the University of Florida, they had been divorced about 12 years.
After two kids “William had a high-paying job and simply woke up one day deciding to be an alcoholic,” Sandy said.
She stated that she had lost track of his whereabouts but wasn’t surprised about the circumstances of his death, investigators said.
Norris’ second ex-wife, Melissa Comeau, whom he married in 200 after he divorce from Sandy, told investigators he was a deadbeat dad and spouse abuser who was addicted to drugs and alcohol. They divorced in January 2014, and he lost his parental rights in October 2015 because of his “horrible alcohol and drug problem,” Melissa said. Norris and Corneau also had two children before they divorced.
According to Melissa, her ex-husband had not seen their daughters in a year and was more than $15,000 behind on child support.
Investigators said his father Virgil Norris wasn’t sure why his son was in Tallahassee, and noted that he [Virgil Norris ] “I did not appear to be surprised” about how his son died.
The medical examiner noted that Anthony Todd suffered broken ribs and hemorrhaging in the eyes. The likely cause of death was likely asphyxiation caused from compression of the chest, she observed.
“The observed injuries are consistent with being crushed,” not being the victim of a violent crime, according to the autopsy report.
Authorities stated that William Norris also died from multiple blunt traumatic injuries. A deputy said : “Extensive trauma was obvious and consistent with the body being compressed by a trash compactor”.
The medical examiner documented many crush injuries to the face, skull and jaw, neck and rib fractures. The toxicology report found his blood-alcohol level at 0.249.
In both cases, investigators concluded that the men took refuge in a dumpster, fell asleep and went unnoticed when they were lifted into the city garbage trucks that delivered them to the compactors.