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Human remains found at Thoreau landfill

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Staff Reports

Gallup Police Department reported today that detectives, along with the help of other agencies, recovered human remains at Red Rock Regional Landfill in Thoreau Aug. 28.

GPD Capt. Marinda Spencer said the identity of the recovered remains has yet to be determined. An anonymous report of a possible homicide triggered the search, which was two weeks ago and is still ongoing.

Detectives, led by Lt. Billy Padavich, began their search with the help of the staff at the landfill. Billy Moore, the manager of Red Rock landfill, and his operations crew worked alongside detectives and sifted through the mounds of garbage.

The operators used heavy machinery to move the tons of garbage to allow detectives to shift through and try to locate any sign of human remains.

“The Gallup Detectives and Red Rock landfill crew were exposed to heat, rain and wind, but also the foul smell and waste,” Spencer said. “Their persistence paid off. The Office of the Medical Investigator, and the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene to assist with the investigation.