Delaware ME: Wheeler Died of Blunt Trauma

By RANDALL CHASE
|  Friday, Jan 28, 2011  |  Updated 10:00 PM EDT
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Delaware ME: Wheeler Died of Blunt Trauma

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The Delaware medical examiner said a federal defense consultant whose body was found in a Wilmington landfill died of blunt trauma.

Officials said Friday that 66-year-old John Wheeler III of New Castle was assaulted, and that the cause of death is listed as blunt trauma. Officials had determined several weeks ago that Wheeler was the victim of homicide but did not disclose other details.

Wheeler's body was found among a load of trash being dumped at the landfill on the morning of Dec. 31.

Witnesses and video surveillance cameras indicate that he was seen wandering around Wilmington in a disoriented manner in the days before his body was found.

Wheeler was a former officer in the U.S. Army. He was also a Vietnam veteran and the first chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Wheeler led the multi-million dollar venture to create the memorial wall here in Washington

In addition to serving abroad, Wheeler served in the administrations for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was also the special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force.

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