Man, 66, found dead in South Side garbage can; relatives seek answers

CHICAGO — Police, relatives and neighbors are searching for answers after a 66-year-old man was found dead in a garbage can on the South Side earlier this week.

William Cobb, 66, was found dead about 9:15 a.m. Monday in the 6500 block of South Yale Avenue, about a block from his home. Streets and Sanitation workers discovered the body.

An autopsy did not reveal a conclusive cause of death, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Now, community activist Andrew Holmes is joining Cobb’s relatives and Englewood neighbors in the search for answers. He is canvassing the neighborhood, seeking help from anyone who may have seen something.

“Questions remain from the family, how he got inside that garbage can,” Holmes said. “Also, how did he die?”

Relatives were too distraught to talk Saturday.

Neighbors said it was deeply unsettling that Cobb was found dead on the block. His body was discovered as snow fell Monday, just hours before the city grappled with two days of subzero temperatures.

“Of course it’s suspicious,” one neighbor said, “especially for him to end up in a garbage can. Someone had to put him there.”

“That’s the perfect time to do a crime,” the neighbor said. “Ain’t nobody out, so don’t nobody see anything.”

“The family thinks it’s suspicious,” Holmes said, “but we have to wait on the medical examiner’s report. Then the detectives will go from there.”

Because the autopsy was inconclusive, police are classifying the case as a death investigation, not a homicide. That could change as new details emerge.

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