Body of missing postal worker discovered at dump

Nancy Rogers

June 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hayward police are investigating the death of a postal worker who was at work early Monday morning and then disappeared. Police later found her body at an East Bay dump. It all started at the postal center on Santa Clara Street, right next to the police station in Hayward.

The police are saying they have no idea what happened and won't even call it a murder. They have no suspects, but employees are scared. One worker told ABC7 showing up to work at the postal facility in the middle of the night makes her nervous.

Hayward police got the call about the missing postal worker around 4:45 a.m. After interviewing employees and doing a search, they turned to the dumpster.

"The employees' vehicle was there. We didn't find the employee at the employee's home. We just wanted to cover all the bases the patrol officers were being very thorough," said Hayward Lt. Chris Orrey.

They discovered Waste Management crews had emptied the post office's dumpster right around the time the employee was reported missing. So police tracked down the garbage truck to a San Leandro dump.

"We went to the Davis Street transfer station, isolated and searched through the trash they had picked up from the post office, and at that time unfortunately we did find a body, deceased, that matched the description of the missing post office employee," said Orrey.

"We don't have [any] kind of security for us. So now look what happened to her, my co-worker, it could happen to me," said Kimberly Wheeler, the victim's former co-worker.

Wheeler said she worked with the victim at the Hayward station for 10 years before. She said the victim was about to retire. Wheeler also said the people who work the overnight shift need to be better protected.

"I'd like to see cameras out there. I'd like to see a security guard checking badges and making sure people work there," said Wheeler.

Post office officials said that will be part of the investigation.

"Inspectors are going to go out and do a security review of the facility, make sure that it continues to be a safe facility and if there is anything has been missed, we're going to go back over that," said postal inspector Hilary Rickher.

But before the talk turns to security, police said they need to figure out exactly what happened.

"We don't know the cause of death. We don't know if this is a homicide, a suicide, an accident, we haven't determined that," said Orrey.

The post office spokesperson said about five people work the overnight shift in Hayward and police say no one heard anything suspicious. They aren't releasing her name until after Tuesday's autopsy is completed.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Hayward police Inspector Mike Woods, or an available inspector, through the Crime Stoppers hotline at (510) 293-7197.


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