The body of 66-year-old John Wheeler III was found at the Cherry Island landfill on the morning of New Year’s Eve.
John P. Wheeler III is shown in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which he championed, in a 1994 photo. Details emerging of Wheeler’s final days are in stark contrast to his accomplished Washington career. (AP file)
Witnesses mistake Pentagon insider as homeless person
The picture formed Tuesday of Wheeler’s final days depicted a man disoriented and so disheveled that he was mistaken for a homeless person — a stark contrast to the New Castle resident’s reputation as an accomplished public servant in three presidential administrations.
About 40 minutes after leaving the pharmacy, Wheeler turned up at the New Castle County Courthouse parking garage on King Street in Wilmington, erratically searching for his car, according to employees and surveillance video made public Tuesday.Police say surveillance video shows the prominent national defense expert confused and disoriented in a downtown office building hours before his body was discovered.
But whatever happened to the prominent national defense consultant and decorated Army officer police, whoever dumped his body into a garbage bin in the bustling college town of Newark, Del. risked being detected, either by witnesses or surveillance cameras, with some of the containers in well-lit parking lots, near restaurants and stores.
Police have been canvassing the truck’s route and have found surveillance cameras at all but one location, and have begun the process of reviewing the footage from the days before Wheeler’s body was found.
The Delaware Medical Examiner’s office ruled Wheeler’s death a homicide, but police have no suspects.
The cause of Wheeler’s death has not been released, pending toxicology results and further forensic testing, said Carl Kanefsky, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Social Services.