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When Hodan Mohamed got a call from her neighbor in South Seattle shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday, she thought the woman was calling about the problem they’ve had with people breaking into their garages.

Instead, the neighbor said a man was in her backyard trying to stuff a body from a shopping cart into the recycling and trash bins, Mohamed said.

“She said she had watched him struggling to push the cart, but it was too heavy, and she said she was sure it was a body,” said Mohamed. “Then she said he was literally in her backyard trying to put it in her recycling.”

The neighbor said the man mumbled something about “the cleaners,” then left immediately after she yelled at him to ask what he was doing, Mohamed said. The neighbor, whose English is limited, told Mohamed she didn’t want to be the one to call 911 because of the language barrier.

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When police arrived at the home in the 4000 block of South Austin Street, near Central Park in the Othello neighborhood, they found a shopping cart, and inside was what police said appeared to be a pile of clothes with feet sticking out.

Mohamed said her neighbor said the body was wrapped up in something, like a blanket, which was covered with what appeared to be dried blood.

Police said the victim was “obviously deceased” and fire officials said the victim suffered multiple stab wounds. No lifesaving measures were attempted.

The official cause of death will be determined by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, which will also release the victim’s identity.

Police are looking for the man who had been pushing the cart.

Christine Clarridge can be reached at

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