The man whose body was found at Petaluma Refuse & Recycling on Friday died accidently, after climbing inside a commercial Dumpster to escape the cold, the Sonoma County Coroner’s Office has determined.
Authorities say Juan Gomez-Diaz, 30, who had no local address, but ties to Petaluma, died after being crushed by a refuse truck. An autopsy revealed no evidence of foul play and a toxicology report is forthcoming.
Investigators say Gomez-Diaz, who was originally from Mexico, was last seen at approximately 10:45pm last Thursday walking along the railroad tracks in Petaluma. He appeared to be in good condition and was alone.
As night settled in and temperatures dropped to below freezing, Gomez-Diaz likely took shelter inside a Dumpster at a Petaluma business and was sleeping when the container was emptied by a garbage truck.