Coroner: Person found in fuel tanker truck identified

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UPDATE June 6/8/21

The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department has identified the person found in a gas tanker Friday as 29-year-old Garrett Meyer from Nashville, Illinois. Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum said no additional information can be released at this time while investigators track the timeline of events. Cheatum said the Sheriff’s Dept. and state police are following good leads.

Original article 6/7/21

BUCKLEY, Ill. (WCIA) — Authorities are investigating after a body was found inside a gas tanker Friday morning in Iroquois County.

Coroner Bill Cheatum said two truck drivers discovered the body between 9:30 and 10 a.m. at a gas transfer hub just outside of Buckley, next to Lion’s Den, a closed adult bookstore.

Cheatum said the drivers claim they had issues unloading gas from the tanker for a couple of days. They opened up the tank on Friday to find the issue. That’s when they discovered the body.

The coroner said the drivers reported they don’t know why the body was in there and they didn’t know about it before opening the tank. Cheatum added, the two drivers reported it to 911 dispatchers, and the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department, the coroner’s office, and state police crime scene investigators responded. An Urbana Hazmat team was also called in to assist.

Cheatum said the body was intact but didn’t provide any additional information about who it is or if foul play was involved. He also couldn’t say how long the body was in the tank but said those investigating are closing in on that answer.

On Monday, WCIA sat down with a local who is always in the know. Ardell “Goat” Goetting’s hardware and appliance repair shop is a central location for daily discussions in the small village. Goetting said if the person found in the tanker were from around town, everyone would already know who it was.

“Saturday morning a guy came up to me and said, ‘What are all the cops doing out there?'” Goetting shared. “…and then in the afternoon, the guy came in here and [said], ‘Man, they’re out there, a half a dozen state police and everything else, and they’re carrying a plastic bag around, and we don’t know.’ Nobody knows.”

The coroner said the person found is from southern Illinois. He added an autopsy was conducted Saturday in Champaign County and toxicology reports should be available in anywhere from two to four weeks.

Cheatum also said the Sheriff’s Dept. and Illinois State Police have several good leads in the investigation.

We asked why the autopsy was done in Champaign County. Cheatum said Iroquois County doesn’t have an autopsy room for it to be done in.

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