Demolition workers in St. Louis made a gruesome discovery Thursday morning when a decomposed body was found in an alley. The body has been identified as that of a missing Army reservist, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Authorities confirmed that they found the body of Robert Lovings Polk, who was last seen Oct. 3, when, his mother said, he left home possibly to meet someone about a car that was for sale on Craigslist. The 22-year-old, authorities said, was shot. Police have yet to confirm whether his death is related to the Craigslist sale.
“It hurts,” Polk’s grandmother Dorothy Polk told the Post-Dispatch. “It hurts so bad. I knew it was him when they said on the news that they found a body. I knew it was him.”
An autopsy to determine Polk’s cause of death is scheduled for today.
His body was discovered by demolition worker Daniel Parker, 29, and his co-workers. The group of employees had been working at a property in the Baden neighborhood of St. Louis for the past two days when they noticed a strong odor, but they thought it was a dead animal. On Thursday morning, as they got closer to the odor and lifted a piece of drywall, they discovered Polk’s body, partly in a garage and partly in the alley. Parker told the Post-Dispatch that it seemed as if the body had been dragged to the location.
“It looks like he had been dragged there because there was a blood trail,” Parker said, adding that the body was facedown. In another street, Parker said, he saw seven or eight shell casings.
“That’s someone’s uncle, brother, son or daddy—somebody,” Parker said. “I couldn’t believe it. It was more hurtful than anything, seeing someone’s lifeless body lying there.”
Read more at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.