Woman's Body Found in Suitcase at West Texas Landfill

9-14-05 - A sanitation worker sorting through debris at a city-owned landfill found the body of a woman inside a suitcase Tuesday, authorities said.

Assistant Police Chief Thomas Esparza said the death was being treated as a homicide. An autopsy was ordered.

"We don't know how she died, where she died or when she died," Esparza said. Police identified the woman late Tuesday as Summer Lee Baldwin, 29.

John Cobb, manager of the West Texas Region Disposal Facility, said the body probably was brought to the site in one of the trucks that dumped there Tuesday morning. It was found sitting in a suitcase atop a 10-foot-high trash pile, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported in its Wednesday editions.

Cobb said the refuse at the bottom of the landfill Tuesday was delivered by 40 trucks.

"We're guessing it came off a city truck," he said. "We've had private up there and commercial up there. That's why it is a guess."

The worker found the body while sorting through trash in search of car batteries, tires and large pieces of metal that shouldn't be dumped at the landfill.

"Something made him look in there," Cobb said. "Otherwise it would have gone unsolved."