Surveillance video shows an apparently disoriented John Wheeler inside a Wilmington, Delaware office building. The former presidential aide was later found dead in a landfill.
Just before his death, John Parsons Wheeler, 66, left his office outside Washington on December 28. His body was found in Wilmington, Deleware on Friday. He was scheduled to take an Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington on Thursday.
Detectives were able to verify that Wheeler had been seen Thursday near 10th and Orange Streets near the Hotel du Pont, but a police spokesman declined to say how this was confirmed. An executive at the nearby DuPont Corp. headquarters, which employs outdoor surveillance cameras, said only that the company had “cooperated” with the police.
Wheeler was found dead falling out of a garbage truck into a landfill on Friday, December 31, 2010. Garbage truck drivers as well as landfill workers known as “spotters” are trained to watch garbage for suspicious items as garbage is dumped at the site.
On Tuesday, police said a witness had come forward to say that John Parsons Wheeler had been spotted alive in downtown Wilmington on Thursday afternoon, less than 24 hours before his body was found in a Wilmington landfill in refuse that came from trash bins in one of 10 possible locations in Newark, Delaware.
As of Wednesday, law officers have not released information regarding the caused of the death in the homicide investigation.
John P. Wheeler — a 1966 West Point graduate — was a Vietnam veteran who became a driving force behind the controversial memorial on the National Mall. Wheeler worked on nuclear, chemical, and cyber issues at the Pentagon. He was the first chief executive officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), a secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a tireless advocate for veterans.
It is noted that Wheeler was in a dispute over a neighbor’s plans to build a large house in New Castle’s historic district. He was seen within four blocks of the office of attorney Bayard Marin, who was representing Wheeler and his wife in a dispute with the neighbors — Frank and Regina Marini of Hockessin. Yes, Marin and Marini. Wheeler’s lawyer Marin said he last spoke with his John P. Wheeler on December 27.
A Delaware Chancery Court judge denied Wheeler’s application for a temporary restraining order on Dec. 13. Then on December 28, several smoke bombs of the type used for rodent control were tossed into the Marini house, damaging the floors.