Man found dead in garbage truck identified

Man found dead in garbage truck identified

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The Yellowstone County Coroner's Office has identified the man found dead in a city garbage truck earlier this week.

James Joseph Brown, a 50-year-old Billings resident, died from asphyxia and crush injuries, Yellowstone County Coroner Cliff Mahoney said. 

The death appears to be an accident, according to Mahoney. 

Brown's body was found shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to the Billings Police Department. Detectives from the department's investigations division responded to the landfill after Brown's body was found among trash in a city garbage truck. 

Brown had been inside a dumpster near South 27th Street and Minnesota Avenue during garbage collection, BPD investigators said Thursday.

As of Thursday afternoon police had no information to indicate criminal involvement or foul play, according to a BPD press release from Lt. Brandon Wooley.

"The investigation remains open/active and classified as a death investigation," Wooley wrote. "Detectives will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Brown's death the same as any other unattended death case."  

A coroner must investigate unattended or unwitnessed deaths of people who have not seen a physician in the 30 days before the death, according to Montana law.

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