Former Army Official Killed

Veteran's body discovered in garbage truck

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011  |  Updated 6:31 PM EDT
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There are new clues in the murder of a prominent defense consultant.

Melissa Mollet

There are new clues in the murder of a prominent defense consultant.

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Murder Mystery

A man with ties to three presidents and one of D.C.'s most treasured memorials is found dead in a Delaware landfill.
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Authorities in Delaware are investigating the death of a former U.S. official, whose body was discovered in a garbage truck.

Police found the body of 66-year-old John Wheeler III on New Year’s Eve when a trash truck was emptying its contents in a landfill. Investigators said all of the pick-ups by the truck included commercial disposal bins in Newark, several miles from Wheeler’s home in New Castle.

Wheeler is a former officer in the U.S. Army. He is 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.

Jan Scruggs, the Fund founder and president, said Wheeler dedicated his time to ensuring that service members were given the respect they deserve.

In a statement Scruggs said, “I know how passionate he was about honoring all who serve their nation, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

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.

Police have ruled Wheeler’s death a homicide, but are not saying how they believe he died.

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