A homeless man whose body was found in a dumpster Monday had been off the radar since he spent three nights in the Catholic Charities shelter on Las Vegas Boulevard in 2011.
It’s not uncommon for the legions of homeless people to use the shelter as a revolving door in Las Vegas, where the population of homeless ranks in the Top 10 nationwide.
“Often when they come in here, they’re exhausted from having to watch their backs out on the streets,” said Leslie Carmine, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, whose shelter houses as many as 200 homeless people. “I don’t know what happened in this most recent case, but I can tell you that it’s dangerous out there on the streets if you’re homeless.
“Often they’ll run into trouble if they’ve got something that somebody else wants — like a bus pass.”
The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the death of Carl Pane Simon, 50, as a homicide. The dumpster in which he was found has been towed from the 1700 block of Ringe Lane, near Owens Avenue and Nellis Boulevard.
But little information on Simon — the details of his life or the circumstances of his death — was available days after the grim discovery by someone picking through the trash, according to police.
Police spokesman Larry Hadfield said it’s rare to find homicide victims in dumpsters in Las Vegas. It is more common to find them dead on the streets, the victims of either extreme weather or old age. But it does occur.
It has happened at least six times in the past eight years that Bob Coyle has been vice president of Republic Services, the principal garbage collection company whose service area contains 35,000 dumpsters.
“Often we’ll call Metro; then Metro will investigate,” said Coyle, noting that all six cases were homicides. “This probably goes without saying, and I’m not a criminologist, but typically it’s somebody who wants to make the body disappear very quickly. And the closest thing is usually a trash dumpster.”
A career administrator, Coyle, 66, has seen his share of grisly discoveries — from a dead baby discovered on the recycling sorting line in Irvine, Calif., a few years ago to the most recent find of skeletal remains in a dumpster on Lake Mead Parkway on Monday, the same day Simon’s body was discovered.
“The driver got out of the truck to go empty the container and saw this skeleton in the dumpster,” Coyle said. “He called the dispatcher, called Metro, they went out to look at it, then they called us back and said it came out of a medical office.”
He said the remains, of an adult, was closed by police who said they were being used for “purposes of science.”
As for Simon, he does have family. The Clark County coroner’s office does not release identities until next of kin is notified.
Contact reporter Tom Ragan at email@example.com or 702-224-5512.