TACOMA, Washington -- Tacoma police say a man suspected of dumping a body in a trash can asked his neighbors for permission before placing the corpse in the receptacle.
Police spokesman officer Mark Fulghum says after the 20-year-old suspect talked to his neighbors, they went to the trash can in the 500 block of East 36th Street and saw the victim's body. Fulghum says the couple left the area, spotted two gang unit officers nearby and told them about the body and their neighbor's request to use the trash can to dispose of it. As the officers were investigating, the suspect walked out of a nearby residence and was taken into custody.
A woman who asked KIRO 7 not to use her name or show her face out of fear of repercussions said her next-door neighbor came to her home and asked her to help him dispose of a body.
"(He asked) if we would help him, that he just killed somebody and there was a dead body in his house, and if we would help him dispose of the body in the trash can in the alley," she said. "He was really calm and laughing about it, so we thought it was a joke at first."
The woman said her friend found the body in her trash can a short time later, when she said the suspect opened the lid as she was waiting to put some garbage inside.
"He lifted the lid and that's when she saw the body in there," the woman said of her friend. "(He said) 'What do you think of this?' I think it's absolutely bizarre."
Fulghum says the suspect admitted putting the dead man in the trash can, but has given three or four different versions about what happened.
"He's given a few different variations of what took place," Fulghum said. "So right now, we've got to sort out those and match the evidence and get the true story."
The Pierce County medical examiner is performing an autopsy Thursday to determine the cause of death. Fulghum says the victim's identification has not been confirmed yet.
The suspect has been booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of murder. He's expected to make his first court appearance Friday afternoon