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Body found in shipping container of Christmas tree


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Body found in shipping container of Christmas trees

The Associated Press

9/9/2004, 12:35 a.m. ET

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — The body of a man was discovered in a shipping container of artificial Christmas trees that arrived in the United States from China.

A worker at a Home Depot distribution center discovered the decomposing body Wednesday.

Assistant Middlesex County Prosecutor Ernest Bergman said the body was that of an Asian man who had Chinese documents. His identity was not yet known, authorities said.

The shipping container, owned by Maersk, arrived in Port Newark after leaving Yantian, China, on July 23.

It arrived at the distribution center Aug. 30, but workers who first opened it sent it back to the container company for fumigation because of an overpowering odor, Bergman told the Home News Tribune of East Brunswick in Thursday's newspapers.

Bergman said the company apparently sent it back to The Home Depot without doing that work.

The body was found on top of boxed Christmas trees toward the back of the container.

An autopsy was planned, Bergman said.

A spokesman for The Home Depot referred all questions to authorities.

Alanna Fenner, general manager of corporate communications with Maersk, told the newspaper no one at the company was available for comment.

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Information from: Home News Tribune, http://www.thnt.com

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2004 NJ.com. All Rights Reserved.

njo.com

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