The man found dead by workers at the Ecoparque Gran Canaria Sur landfill last Thursday, in Juan Grande, has been identified was being a 40 year old homeless man named Raúl. He was known in the area of Telde’s San Gregorio health clinic, where he spent his days assisting drivers to find parking, in the hope of earning small amounts of cash. His body was discovered when the collected refuse was being sorted, and upon first examination did not appear to show any signs of violence, leading preliminary investigators to suggest that he may have died of natural causes, or accidentally when the container in which he was sleeping was emptied into a collection truck in the neighbourhoods of Las Remudas, San Juan or on Calle Canovas del Castillo, where the truck had been doing its rounds. Policia Nacional are awaiting results of the autopsy to uncover the cause of death, and thereby direct the investigations.
The municipal street cleaning service workers began the Las Remudas, San Juan and Calle Cánovas del Castillo route at four that morning, after which they took their truck, as usual, to the landfill site to unload the waste collected. Raul’s corpse passed through several of the selective processes, until one of the operators noticed his body on the belt, where the waste was being divided. At around a quarter to seven that morning, EcoParque workers notified the Maspalomas National Police. Several patrols immediately went to the scene, near the southeast town of Juan Grande, in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, to start an investigation, according to sources consulted.
The man could not initially be identified, but within hours the Homicide Brigade managed to name him: Raúl, a resident of Jinámar, who was dedicated to parking cars in the area of the San Gregorio outpatients clinic and whose family comes from from the north of Gran Canaria.
The first inspection of the body indicated that, in principle, there were no signs of violence, pointing to a possible accidental or natural death. They determined which dumpster he was most likely to have been in, and considered where he had been sleeping there when the garbage truck came to empty the container. One hypotheses is that he was in Las Remudas, a neighbourhood where he was known to spend his evenings, after spending the day showing drivers where to park their vehicle near the San Gregorio health centre. The driver of the municipal vehicle did not notice his presence, as the containers are automatically picked up from the side of the vehicle.
A store worker in neighbourhood, speaking to Spanish language daily La Provincia, has been reported as saying that Raúl was a friendly person, who appeared practically every afternoon to ask for something to eat, having spent most days in the northeast town of Telde’s main urban area. On some occasions they saw him sleep at a bus stop in front of a supermarket, if he had no where else to go.
Raúl was also well known and liked among the stallholders of the Telde Market, according to another witness, where he used to go in the mornings to request some food. “He was a noble boy,” said the witness “last night he must have been cold and got into the container,” they added.