A strong chemical odor lingered outside a produce warehouse here Wednesday, a warehouse where authorities discovered the body of a 32-year-old man on Monday.
The McAllen Police Department identified the man as Luis Reymundo Pierda Martinez, who was from Chihuahua, Mexico, according to a source with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the case.
Martinez was found inside the Plateros Produce’ warehouse at 4314 W. Military Highway. McAllen police Sgt. John Saenz confirmed he was an employee at the facility.
According to the source, Martinez would stay overnight at the warehouse due to the long drive home and that Plateros underwent fumigation over the weekend, when Martinez was expected to sleep there.
The sergeant said the cause of death is still undetermined, but that an autopsy and toxicology are pending.
Plateros Produce was closed Wednesday, as the warehouse’s two entrances displayed warnings issued by the city of McAllen’s health department. The warnings were taped to the glass doors, and one read: “An authorized agent has tagged and hereby detained this article which the agent has found or has probable cause to believe that the article is adulterated; is misbranded so as to be dangerous or fraudulent; or violates Texas Food Establishment Rules 228.225.”
McAllen assistant Fire Chief Jim Schultz said his department had responded to a report of a heart attack and referred to it as an unattended death.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed they are currently investigating Plateros, but declined to answer any questions pertaining to the case.
An office could be seen through one of the entrances of Plateros on Wednesday, where it appeared someone had been sleeping. There was an air mattress with blankets on the floor next to a supply of food, mouthwash, and what appears to be a phone charger still plugged into the wall at the end of the mattress.
There was also a door cracked opened where packaged products could be seen.
Reached by phone using the number displayed on the warnings outside Plateros, a health department employee deferred comment to McAllen police.
Monitor staff writers Mark Reagan and Francisco E. Jimenez contributed to this report.