Jay F. Parker, 54, a carpenter from New Hampshire, was found among refuse in Cascade Recycling Center, in the area where incoming material is sorted.
A homeless man was likely crushed to death in the compactor of a recycling truck before his body was found earlier this month in Woodinville.
Jay F. Parker, 54, was found May 8 among refuse in Cascade Recycling Center, according to the King County Medical Examiner.
He may have died earlier, according to medical examiner. But his body was found in a sorting area, and it takes around three days for incoming recycling to be sorted, said a spokesperson for Waste Management, which owns the recycling center.
It’s unclear where Parker, a carpenter from New Hampshire who had been homeless in the Seattle area for the past two years, died. The medical examiner concluded there is no indication of any foul play in Parker’s death.
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The recycling center processes refuse from Seattle to Woodinville, and areas of Snohomish and Skagit counties, and Parker’s body could have been picked up anywhere along a route.
The last transactions on Parker’s debit card were in Kirkland, according to his family. His only listed address was the Lazarus Day Center in Seattle, where people experiencing homelessness can register to get mail.
Bodies were found at this same Woodinville recycling facility in 2014 and 2016, according to Woodinville Police, which investigated Parker’s death.
In 2014, the partially decomposed body of another homeless man, who had a history of sleeping in recycling bins, was found in a pile of recyclables.
Parker grew up in Peterborough, New Hampshire, said his older sister, Bonnie Cauley-Kallin, who lives in Florida. He was a smart kid who skipped ahead two grades before high school, but he had a rough home life, she said. He ran away at age 14 for the first time.
“He could not let go of the past,” Cauley-Kallin said.
Cauley-Kallin was not sure when her brother started drinking, but she said he would become a different person under the influence. He first went into treatment in his teens, but it didn’t take.
He moved to Seattle in 2016, looking for work as a carpenter and working for the Millionair Club as a cashier, his family said. That year, Parker spent four months in Kitsap County Jail after threatening people at the Bremerton Ferry Terminal. One of the workers there said he was intoxicated.
But when he was sober, Parker played guitar — his signature song was “Free Bird” — and Cauley-Kallin said he was unusually generous. Cauley-Kallin and her husband would give Parker no more than a hundred dollars at a time because they knew he “would give away his last quarter,” she said.
Parker had a hard time finding shelter, Cauley-Kallin said, and got kicked out of several because he was belligerent. He would sometimes sleep on the bus, riding it until the end of the line.
Cauley-Kallin last talked to her brother on the phone Feb. 9, when he called from a hospital emergency room, needing surgery for his leg.
“We talked until the people at the hospital kicked him off the phone, mostly because he was telling the nurse that she was gorgeous,” Cauley-Kallin said. They talked for almost 23 minutes.
She and her husband offered to pay for a hotel, but Parker never took them up on the offer.
Then, earlier this month, Cauley-Kallin got a call from the King County Medical Examiner, who had fingerprinted his body. She was devastated by his death.
“No matter how long it had been … we’d connect, and we’d be like kindred spirits,“ Cauley-Kallin said, “and I’d be like, ‘Wow. You’re back again.’ ”