Missing Elderly Man Found Dead Inside Trash Can Behind His Home: Police

An elderly Michigan man who had been missing for months has been found dead in a trash can behind his house, according to police.

The body of Walter Dansby, 76, was eventually found after his neighbors on Gable Street, Detroit, said they noticed a foul smell and called police on Saturday, May 14.

Detroit Police Chief Marlon Wilson said Dansby's body was found wrapped in a blanket in a trash can behind his house on May 17.

He told Fox2: "A neighbor in the area smelled an off odor he went to investigate, called us and we did, unfortunately, find a victim wrapped in a blanket in the large container in the rear of the location.

Stock image of police car and victim
A split image of a stock photo of a police car and a picture of Walter Dansby. Dansby had been missing since January this year. Getty/ Police handout

"Right now we are asking the community to provide us with any information the smallest bit of information they might think won't help could lead to something bigger."

Police told the network Dansby's cause of death is unknown and they believe he was killed before being placed into the trash can.

According to The Associated Press, there were 309 homicides in Detroit last year. This represented a slight decrease compared to 2020, when 323 people were killed.

Family members who spoke with Fox 2 said they filed a missing person's report with the Detroit Police Department (DPD) in January.

Officers searched the home that month, but they were unable to find him, according to the network.

Newsweek has contacted the DPD for comment.

In a March missing person release, police said Dansby had health issues and had been missing since late January.

Neighbors told Fox 2 that Dansby could regularly be seen sitting on his porch and that one day he was no longer there.

Newsweek has reported on numerous occasions where human remains have been found after people smelled foul odors.

Earlier this year, a decomposed body was found under a mobile home in Pennsylvania by a man who was carrying out plumbing work.

Tracey Douds told a local TV station that she had sometimes smelled a foul odor close to her property in Ohioville and thought it was a dead animal.

She told KDKA-TV that it was her boyfriend who made the grim discovery while he tried to fix a plumbing problem.

Douds added: "He came out, he's like, 'Tracy, you're not gonna believe this. He's like 'I think there's a dead body under there."

She initially thought her boyfriend was joking, but when he went back to make sure he said it was human remains.