The body of a North Carolina woman who was reported missing last month while "dumpster diving" was discovered at a landfill on Monday, authorities said.
Stephanie Cox, 30, was reported missing to police in Greensboro, North Carolina by her family on Jan. 30. Investigators learned that Burlington police had been alerted to an unattended vehicle, which reportedly belonged to Cox, in a service drive behind a row of businesses in Burlington. Police investigating the scene say they believed that Cox had been trying to collect items from a dumpster just after midnight and did not get out before it was serviced at 1:47 a.m.
Cox's family members told police that it was not uncommon for the 30-year-old to go "dumpster diving" and look for items to collect.
“This case brings to light the dangers associated with collections from dumpsters,” Burlington Police said. “The commonly known practice of ‘dumpster diving’ is not safe.”
Video of the scene showed Cox arriving and no one else there at the scene until the garbage truck arrived to service the dumpster, police said. Investigators believed that the garbage truck took the contents of the dumpster to Uwharrie Environment, located about 80 miles north of where the dumpster was located.
"A review of all associated video never shows others on the property until the truck arrived to service the dumpster," said a statement from police.
"Other factors such as clothing have assisted in this process," Burlington Police assistant chief Brian Long said. "We are confident that Ms. Cox has been located."
Crews began looking for Cox's body on Feb. 4th, continuing until Feb 6 until weather hampered their efforts. Crews were able to resume their search on Feb. 10, when they located the remains.
An autopsy is currently underway to determine Cox's cause of death, but foul play is not suspected.
Photo: Burlington Police Department