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Police ID victim after man's remains found near Henrico dumpster

Townsend Square Townhomes
Posted at 3:54 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 15:58:50-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Police have released the name of the man whose body was found near some dumpsters at an apartment complex on the Richmond-Henrcio County line Tuesday.

People living off Cool Lane and Phaup Street at the Townsend Square Townhomes said they were stunned by the gruesome discovery of a body.

Multiple Crime Insider sources said the man’s body was wrapped in a sheet and then stowed behind a twin-size mattress next to a trash dumpster on Phaup Street Tuesday afternoon.

Officers identified the victim on Thursday as 59-year-old John Maurice Thomas.

"Detectives can confirm there were no signs of excessive trauma, such as a gunshot wound or stabbing," Lt. Matthew Pecka with Henrico Police said.

Townsend Square Townhomes
A man’s body was wrapped in a sheet and then stowed behind a twin-size mattress next to a trash dumpster on Phaup Street Tuesday afternoon, according to multiple Crime Insider sources.

Police spent hours on the scene, knocking on doors and people living there said they were asking when the last time trash was collected.

People living next to the dumpster reported seeing bloody materials being removed.

Crime expert Steve Neal said Tuesday that there are clues that come with where the body was discovered.

"Someone made an effort to dispose of this body and the fact that they did it by a dumpster is almost a clue in itself,” Neal said. “It's a situation where you can say the killer or persons involved felt as if they were getting rid of them or taking out the trash."

Henrico Police said Richmond officers secured the scene and the Criminal Investigative Unit, including forensics and the State's Medical Examiner, responded and worked in partnership on the investigation.

"Area localities work closely with one another in situations like this," Pecka explained.

Police said their investigation into the death remains active.

Police asked anyone with information about the case to come forward, either in person or anonymously, by calling Detective Noah at 804-501-5581 or Crime Stoppers 804-780-1000.