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Updated: Body Found in Barrel Identified

Sharia Williamson, Staff Writer

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On Sunday, December 6, a farmer found a barrel floating 4 miles east of Bayard, along the Red Willow Creek, on country road 104. Sealed inside of a 55-gallon barrel was a middle-aged man’s body. The farmer called and reported the incident at an estimated time of 1:38 PM to the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office. Morrill County Sheriff, Milo Cardenas, has released a statement that says the man who was found in the barrel appears to be middle aged, with no immediate signs of death, and he appears to have been dead for a couple of days. Morrill County Attorney, Travis Rodak says, “He (the farmer) saw the barrel, floating in the creek and he thought it would make a good burn barrel”. Rodak continued in saying,” It’s obvious that it was not a suicide, or an accident, as the lid was screwed on”. There has not been a missing person reported in the surrounding area, so the man has yet to be identified. There has been an autopsy scheduled for Monday at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, to determine the cause of death and the man’s DNA will be tested and used to try to identify the man. There has been no further information about this investigation yet and the Morrill County Sheriff’s office asks if anyone who may have any information regarding this matter may contact the Morrill County Sheriff’s Office at 308-262-0408.

 

UPDATED: The body’s remains that has recently been found, sealed inside of a 55-gallon barrel, has been identified as a 33-year-old male name Pedro Adrian Dominguez who was from Greeley, Colorado. There has been a suspect who was found and arrested in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was arrested after stealing a car and leading the police on a chase. According to an arrest affidavit, Zachary A. Mueller has connections with the murder, and has been charged with first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony, and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person. He is currently being held in custody in Cheyenne, Wyoming. An investigator has also released information about how Dominguez was murdered in cold blood. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the back of the head and the murder was believed to have taken place on November 22 or 23. The suspect then proceeded to stuff the remains of Dominguez into a barrel.

Mueller

            On December 5, a friend of Mueller’s called the sheriff’s office saying he may have some information on the murder. He told the deputy that he had stopped to visit Mueller, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and when he arrived at Mueller’s, he witnessed him sealing a white barrel using a wrench, as a friend helped by holding the ring. The friend added that the barrel was next to a blue Volkswagen with the front passenger seat missing. After this informational call, investigators talked to a woman who was identified as Mueller’s girlfriend, and his uncle who Mueller lived with. The woman said that on November 22, she saw Mueller driving the blue Volkswagen with Colorado plates, along with a woman and a Hispanic man with short hair. Two days later, when Mueller returned, he was alone and the car was missing the front passenger seat, some of the interior lining, and the license plates.

Mueller was away the same day the body was discovered and he had the woman’s car. She said that he couldn’t return it until after dark and by that time, she had heard the reports. Fearing her fingerprints were on the Volkswagen, she got gas, and she and a friend took the car out into the country, and burned the vehicle. Mueller’s uncle also claimed to have seen his nephew leave November 21, in the same Volkswagen with the same woman and Hispanic man, only to return two days later, alone. The uncle also claimed that he saw Mueller burning the passenger seat that was missing out of the vehicle, and pieces of the interior. He also found the car’s license plate in a burn barrel. In addition, he watched his nephew move the barrel in and out of the car.

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Updated: Body Found in Barrel Identified