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The body of a 19-year-old New Jersey man last seen leaving an off-campus house party over the weekend near Kutztown University was found hours later amid the trash recyclables at an Exeter Township waste facility, investigators said Monday.
Kellen J. Bischoff of Manahawkin, N.J., had been visiting his brother in Kutztown and had been reported missing Saturday before his body was found shortly after 8:30 a.m. that morning, investigators with the Berks County district attorney’s office said.
Exeter police were called to J.P. Mascaro & Sons’ TotalRecycle Inc., a recycling facility at 1270 Lincoln Road, where the then-identified body was found.
County detectives are assisting in the investigation.
According to investigators:
A description of the victim, including several unique tattoos, wasdisseminated to Berks law enforcement agencies in an effort to help identify the victim.
Based upon these descriptors, Kutztown police concluded it matched the description of a man who had been reported missing.
The victim was identified as Kellen J. Bischoff.
Exeter and county detectives met with officials from borough and Kutztown University police. They learned that the victim had been visiting his brother, a KU student, in the borough and was last seen early Saturday leaving an off-campus house party.
Investigators recovered security camera footage that showed the victim, while alone, climbing into a dumpster behind a business on Constitution Boulevard.
Several hours later, a trash hauler arrived and emptied the contents of the container into the rear of a truck. The contents were compressed in the back of the truck before being transported to Total Recycling.
An autopsy performed Monday in Reading Hospital found no unexplained injuries or signs of foul play.
The victim’s injuries were consistent with having been dumped into and later compressed by the trash truck. Toxicology results are pending.
Though the investigation is continuing, officials said the death appears to be accidental.
District Attorney John T. Adams said investigators believe Bischoff was extremely intoxicated when he climbed into the dumpster. Officials are awaiting toxicology results.
He said it’s disturbing that two tragic deaths occurred near the Kutztown University within the space of a few hours.
Shortly before 1 a.m., an 18-year-old Reading man was fatally shot at a Maxatawny Township housing complex that serves Kutztown University students.
Diego Velazquez died in Lehigh Valley Hospital, near Allentown, of a gunshot wound to the body, according to the Lehigh County coroner’s office, which ruled the death a homicide.
The shooting took place at 12:52 a.m. in the 400 block of Baldy Road at the Advantage Point housing complex, a statement from the coroner’s office said.
Velazquez was pronounced dead at 2:14 a.m. by a hospital physician.
No arrests have been made in the shooting, Adams said.
State police are investigating along with the district attorney’s office, Adams said, adding that he had no updates to the investigation Monday.
Kutztown University issued a message to the campus community Saturday afternoon that said Velazquez was not a KU student. It said the perpetrators were believed to have left the area and that it was safe to engage in regular activities.
It reminded the community that counseling resources are available on campus for those who need them.
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