Just about everyone has been texting, messaging and emailing me about the sad recovery of Larry Ely Murillo. His body turned up behind the coolers in the supermarket he used to work in. The business has been closed for years and a contractor was engaged in removing the coolers and shelving units when they found Murillo’s partially mummified remains in the eighteen-inch gap between the cooler and the wall.
Murillo was apparently having a psychotic break at the time of his disappearance. The day before, he had been prescribed an antidepressant, but his mental condition just deteriorated and he was paranoid and hearing voices. He ran out into the snow, coatless and barefoot, and vanished. Until now.
Per MANY the news articles about the finding, apparently workers at the supermarket would sometimes hide on top of the coolers when they wanted to take a break without the boss knowing. My guess is that Murillo, in his paranoia, went dashing for the familiar hiding space, only to slip into the space behind the units. The noise from the compressors would have drowned out his cries for help. And so he died a slow, horrible death.
The case reminds me of the tragic death of Joshua Maddux, whose corpse was found inside a chimney in a remote cabin in Colorado in 2015, seven years after he vanished. There was (and is still) talk of murder, but the most plausible theory is that he was trying to break into the cabin via the chimney and got stuck.
I am, not, of course, a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist, but I don’t think the antidepressant was responsible for the mental breakdown leading up to Murillo’s death. He had been showing mental illness symptoms before taking the drug, and that’s why it was prescribed for him. And he had only been prescribed the drug the day before his disappearance.
Deaths like Larry Murillo’s remind me of just how lucky I am. As most of you readers know, I’ve got bipolar disorder. I’ve had psychotic breaks before. And one time, a common prescription painkiller I’d innocently taken interacted with one of my psychiatric meds and threw a party in my brain, resulting in very bad psychotic symptoms. This was not technically psychosis but delirium; however at the time everyone thought it was psychosis.
Anyway, that time I was hallucinating, delusional, and kept trying to leave the house at night in early March wearing only a shirt and underpants. The hospital refused to admit me, and the police wouldn’t help either, so Michael called his parents and they came over and stayed up with me all night to make sure I didn’t leave the house or do anything to harm myself.
If it weren’t for Michael and his parents, I might have died that night. I was lucky. Sadly, Larry Murillo wasn’t.
These cases, where the person somehow got into a space where they likely died a horrible death and weren’t found right away, remind me of this case from Washington State. The circumstances are horrible. And he is still unidentified:
Holy crap, that is horrific. That poor man.
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Yes it is a horrible case. A few years back I did some digging online to learn more, and found that the setup of access to the boilers at this plant meant that there were limited scenarios as to hoe he could have gotten into that boiler stack. I’ll have to find those older sources.
I’ve thought for a while that this Doe might be Archer Ray Johnson (http://charleyproject.org/case/archer-ray-johnson)
The physical aspects, plus the timeline, fit. Even the cleft chin in the reconstruction is eerie. I did forward the potential match to Doe Network a few years back, as I’m sure others did as well. But no news about the case at all for several years.
They just found jonelle matthews
And not to make everyone more sad, but rather to bring attention to this similar case, is the still unidentified person found in a chimney under similarly bizarre circumstances:
Not only did he likely die a horrible death, he is still unidentified, and his being possibly transgender probably hasn’t helped the search for his identity.
Just because we’re on this topic (my apologies for leading us there), here’s another John Doe chimney case, albeit with very little info (I know you utter that phrase more than you’d like: “few details are available in his/her case”)
One more: I’m surprised this one is still unidentified, because I think he must have had some connection to this youth Center. Maybe because he wasn’t found right away, and maybe if it wasn’t investigated initially, the case was allowed to go cold via neglect.