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Dead Man in Cellulose Container May Have Been Stowaway

December 1, 1985

FREIBURG, West Germany (AP) _ Chemical factory workers found the body of a man with spare clothes and a transistor radio in a cellulose container imported from the United States, authorities said Sunday.

″We suspect that he may have been a stowaway, someone who wanted to come over (to Europe) without paying his way,″ Freiburg Police Inspector Uwe Schundelmeier told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

He said no signs of violence were found on the body.

Schundelmeier said workers at the Rhodia AG chemical factory in this southwestern West German city discovered the body Nov. 21 while unpacking cellulose containers imported from the United States.

The man was about 30 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches tall with dark wavy hair and ″apparently of Indian or Pakistani nationality,″ said Schundelmeier. No personal identification documents were found on the body.

″An amulet shaped like a forearm was dangling from his ear, and he had a peace sign tattooed on his chest,″ said Schundelmeier. ″The body was totally dehydrated and very thin, 36 kilograms (79 pounds), so we suspect he died of thirst, hunger and/or asphyxiation.″

Schundelmeier said doctors at the University of Freiburg examined the body, but an investigation was continuing to identify the man and determine cause of death.

He said it had not been determined when the man died or when and how he got into the container.

But he said the container shipment was sealed before it left Baltimore on a ship bound for Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

He said the cellulose was produced by ITT Rayonier Inc. in Port Angeles, Wash., loaded onto a Burlington Northern train there on Oct. 8 and sent to Chicago, where it was transferred to a Conrail train and brought to Baltimore.

The container shipment was taken across the Atlantic on a Hapag Lloyd ship and arrived in Rotterdam on Nov. 6, Schundelmeier said. It was then shipped up the Rhine River to Freiburg.

Rhodia is the biggest employer in Freiburg, a university city of 176,000 in West Germany’s Black Forest region.

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