PETALUMA -- There is no evidence of foul play in the death of a man whose body was found Friday at the Novato Disposal company's refuse transfer station in Petaluma, a Sonoma County sheriff's spokesman said Tuesday.

Juan Gomez-Diaz, 30, a Santa Rosa-area transient, appears to have died accidentally when he was compressed within the refuse collection truck or at the transfer station on Petaluma Boulevard South, sheriff's Sgt. Carlos Basurto said.

Deputies were called to the transfer station around 1:40 p.m. Friday after Gomez-Diaz's body was found among recycling debris inside a warehouse there, Lt. Tim Duke said.

He was last seen around 10:45 p.m. Thursday when Petaluma police contacted him as he walked on or near the railroad tracks, Basurto said.

"Gomez-Diaz appeared to be in good condition and he was alone," Basurto said. "Gomez-Diaz may have taken shelter inside a Dumpster that night, as the temperature was very cold."

It is assumed he was in the Dumpster when it was picked up and emptied into the truck in a commercial area Friday morning, sheriff's officials said.

Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said investigators are looking at video from surveillance cameras in the area.



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