LOCAL L.A. Now

Third body in year's span found at mixed-waste plant in Industry

An autopsy is pending for a homeless woman who was found dead earlier this week on a conveyor belt at a mixed-waste processing plant in the city of Industry -- the third body to be discovered at the facility within a year.

Kesha Rena Williams, 45, was found at 8:48 a.m. Tuesday at the Athens Services plant in the 14000 block of Valley Boulevard, authorities said. Investigators believe Williams’ body was in a load of trash deposited at the facility.

Williams had been estranged from her family, who said she frequented the Leimert Park area, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Eddie Hernandez.

"We were able to track down the trash that she was mixed up in," Hernandez said, adding that it was picked up in the Leimert Park area. "At this point, there was no obvious signs of foul play."

When Hernandez was first told about the discovery, he thought it was a little odd because he had been called out to the plant only a few months before under similar circumstances.

"When I got the call out, it was a little strange to [go to the] same place when we had been there about three or four months prior," he said.

Authorities were called to the facility earlier this summer after the body of a man was found on a conveyor belt, Hernandez said.

"It was a male, same thing, was found in the landfill trash receptacle," Hernandez said. 

In December of last year, a newborn was found dead by an employee at the plant who was sorting trash.

Gary Clifford, executive vice president of Athens Services, said "unfortunately things like this happen."

"This year there's been a few incidents, they've all been isolated," Clifford said. "They all came in via one of our waste-hauling vehicles."

"Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the people affected by this," he added.

Hernandez said investigators have, for the most part, been able to find out how the bodies got to the plant, but added: "We haven't been able to determine how they're getting into the trash receptacles ... that part is still unclear."

“Unfortunately, these folks are living in a homeless encampment," he said. "The people living with them, they may think it’s the easiest way to get them out of the way.”

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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