Man’s body found in trunk of SUV auctioned for scrap

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 1:46 AM AKDT
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LAKE STEVENS, Wash. (KING) - Police are investigating after employees at a Washington state scrapyard found a body in the trunk of an SUV bought at auction.

Workers at the Braven Metals scrapyard process about 10,000 vehicles every year. They routinely go through the cars they buy at auction before recycling the metal, and they thought they’d seen everything – until they found a body in the trunk of a 2002 Ford Explorer.

“I haven’t come across something like that before. So, I wasn’t sure what to think when my name hit the radio and I got called down there to take a look and see what was going on,” said Braven HR Director Michael Smith.

Workers discovered the man’s body last Thursday after buying the SUV at an auction in Lynnwood. It was supposed to have been inspected by a third party prior to its arrival at the scrapyard, but somehow, it slipped through the cracks.

“Just when you think there’s nothing else that’s gonna shock you, something like this happens. We really have seen it all at this point,” Smith said.

Witnesses say it’s unclear how long the man had been there or how he died.

“To me, it looked like he may have been staying in his vehicle. There was a sleeping bag,” Smith said.

The discovery was made just before the car was to be crushed and sold for scrap. Smith says he’s grateful his crew was on top of things and was able to find the body before that happened.

“We’re happy that our process worked, and we caught it. We’re happy that we were able to get him into the hands of someone who can identify him and hopefully find a loved one or family. Everybody is somebody’s someone,” Smith said.

Police are still trying to identify the man and determine exactly how he died, but at this point, they say it does not appear to be a homicide.

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