A truly strange murder case sprouted along I-95 yesterday when rescuers -- who had just saved a man and a boy suffering from chemical fume exposure in a pesticide truck -- found a corpse in a bag stuffed between containers of hazardous chemicals in the back.
The truck belongs to a company called C & J Pest Control, which is based out of a house in Westwood Lakes. Police -- who are treating the case as a homicide -- rushed to the home last night.
The story began around 7 a.m. yesterday when a Road Ranger in West Palm noticed a maroon pickup truck stopped on a shoulder near Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard.
Police and firefighters found two seriously ill passengers inside: 53-year-old George Barahona and 10-year-old Victor Vocter, who was suffering from seizures.The fumes were so strong on the scene that four firefighters had to be treated for exposure, says Chase Scott, a West Palm Beach PD spokesman.
So Environmental Protection specialists arrived to deal with the chemicals. They spent most of the day disposing of open containers of acid and other deadly compounds, until just after 5 p.m. That's when they found the body.
"It's not pretty inside the truck," Scott told the Palm Beach Post.
Rush hour traffic slowed to a crawl as detectives from West Palm and Miami and FBI agents surrounded the scene.
C & J Pest Control, the company that owns the truck, is based out of a home on SW 47th Terrace near the Turnpike. Riptide tried a number listed for the company this morning, but the line has been disconnected.
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As for Barahona and Vocter, both were in serious condition at a Palm Beach hospital as of last night.
"At last report, the man and the child were both in very serious condition," Scott tells WPTV.