WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – Eyewitness News has obtained exclusive surveillance video of a former presidential aide that was taken two days before his body was found dumped in a Delaware landfill.
The body of John Wheeler III was found in the Cherry Island landfill in Wilmington on New Year’s Eve.
The video shows a man that appears to be Wheeler entering the lobby of a parking garage at 5th and King Streets in Wilmington on December 29.
An employee of the parking garage said Wheeler look disheveled and said he was looking for his car. The employee also said his right shoe, which appeared to be broken, was in his right hand.
“From the way his shoe looked, I would say that it looked like somebody done something to him,” the worker told Eyewitness News.
The video then shows the man getting on an elevator and walking around for 20 minutes. After that, he talked to a supervisor before he was escorted out the pedestrian door.
Investigators said Wheeler was last seen at 10th and Orange Streets in Wilmington around 3:30 p.m. on December 30.
A day later, police were called after Wheeler’s body was dumped out of a garbage truck into the Cherry Island landfill.
Investigators said Wheeler’s car was found in its normal parking location in a garage across from the Wilmington train station.
“We do know that he was scheduled to take a train from Washington, DC to the Wilmington train station on December 28th. We’re not certain whether or not he was on that train,” Lt. Mark Farrall of the Newark Police Department explained.
Farrall says they tracked the trash to locations along College Square and East Main Street.
“We are checking surveillance for anybody who may have been in the area around the dumpsters at the time he would have been dumped.”
Investigators are re-tracing the garbage truck’s trips to 10 different dumpsters on Friday morning.
Police have also searched Wheeler’s New Castle home where he lived with his wife.
Wheeler was a US Army captain in the Vietnam War, and led the committee that built the memorial to veterans of that conflict on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Wheeler, 66, had served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. Bush, and was a special assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force during President George W. Bush’s second term.
Investigators have not revealed a cause of death.
Newark, Del. police are taking anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, and say a reward may be available for information that leads them to a suspect.
Reported By: Robin Rieger; Todd Quinones; Steve Beck, CBS 3