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Remains found believed to be NC woman who was 'dumpster diving'

Posted at 3:43 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 15:43:36-05

TROY, N.C. -- Remains found at a North Carolina landfill are believed to be a woman who police say climbed into a trash container to look for reusable items.

Burlington police say the body recovered Monday at Uwharrie Environmental in Montgomery County is believed to be 30-year-old Stephanie Cox.

Officials said video showed Cox arrive at Five Below where the dumpster around midnight on Thursday, Jan. 30.

“Cox is believed to have been attempting to collect items from a dumpster alone shortly after midnight,” police previously said in a news release. ”... It is believed that Cox did not exit the dumpster prior to it being serviced at 1:47 a.m.”

Police launched a search party for her remains which was temporarily halted last week due to inclement weather.

Police said the case highlights the dangers of what's commonly known as dumpster diving.

"The commonly known practice of ‘dumpster diving’ is not safe,” police said.

A longtime friend who created an online fundraiser to help cover funeral expenses remembered Cox as a "wonderful person."

"She had the best sense of humor & was always there with positive encouragement when her friends needed her," Amy Cooper wrote.