January 5th, 2011
07:00 PM ET

Parking attendant recounts encounter with former Pentagon official

CNN Wire Staff

Wilmington, Delaware (CNN) - A parking lot attendant in Wilmington described a strange encounter with a former Pentagon official, just two days before his body was discovered in a Delaware landfill.

Iman Goldsborough told CNN on Wednesday that a man she later recognized as John P. Wheeler wandered into the parking garage where she works on December 29 around 6:40 p.m., disheveled and carrying a shoe in one hand.

"'I'm not drunk, I'm not drunk,'" Goldsborough quoted Wheeler as saying.

The man, who wasn't wearing a coat despite temperatures in the 30s, couldn't remember where he had parked his car, and said his briefcase had been stolen, she recounted. Goldsborough said she doesn't think his car was parked in that garage, because she had never seen him before and she knows most of her customers.

Two days later, police say, Wheeler's body was found in Wilmington's Cherry Island Landfill. Goldsborough said when she saw the news reports about his death, she recognized him as the man she had spoken with that night.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Teresa

    This man looks confused as if he may be suffering from dementia or altzheimers. Has anyone thought about the possibility this man entered the dumpster on his own and died of exposure? This may be a tragedy but not a murder at all! Has the cause of death been released? Come on CNN.....you guys are supposed to be the smart ones in media!!!!! Let's answer the most basic questions before assuming this gentleman was murdered!

    January 6, 2011 at 5:46 am |
  2. luis collazo

    Such a sad story! Mental Health appears to be at the root of this case.

    January 5, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    So what did he die of? From the little bit in this article he could have died in several different ways – some of them natural (stroke, heart attack, etc). I don't understand why when he appeared confused, holding a shoe, not knowing where his car was, and disheveled that someone that had contact with him before he disappeared didn't call 911 and get the police to investigate; they could have determined then if the man was having trouble because of the actions of others or if he was ill. All those years of serving his country and then he ends up at the landfill. Tragic.

    January 5, 2011 at 10:04 pm |