Man identified, cause of death revealed after body found in garbage truck

SATURDAY UPDATE:  Police identified the victim as Anthony Gilks, 35, of Anna.  Preliminary autopsy results show Gilks’ death is consistent with a compression type injury.  Police say the death appears to be accidental and no foul play is suspected.  Anna police is continuing the investigation, pending the outcome of the final autopsy.

ORIGINAL STORY:  An autopsy for a person found dead inside a garbage truck in Jonesboro, Illinois, Friday morning is scheduled for Saturday, according to Anna police. 

Union County Coroner Phil Hileman says he was called out to the Jonesboro Rehabilitation and Health Care Center Friday morning because the driver of a garbage truck realized there was a body inside the truck.

The administrator at the health care center says the Republic Services trash collectors had come out Friday morning as usual to take out their trash. But the driver never got that chance. 

When the driver got out, that’s when the body was discovered in the truck. It wasn’t the Republic Services truck’s first stop of the day, but when the driver found the body, Hileman says, the driver contacted police. 

Hileman says the garbage truck was taken to a secure location, and the coroner’s office began taking the body out of the truck Friday afternoon. 

The coroner declined to say what kind of shape the body was in when it was found.

Illinois State Police and its crime scene team are investigating the death, with the help of the Union County Sheriff’s Department. They have not released any information about the person’s identity.

Many in the Anna and Jonesboro community say they’re shocked to hear something like this happened, and they hope answers come soon.

Republic Services, the trash collection company whose driver found the body, said in a statement, "Our thoughts are with everyone involved in this morning’s incident, especially our driver who is understandably distraught. We are cooperating fully with local authorities as part of their ongoing investigation." 

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