Duncan Gordon DNA found near machinery at Greer SC recycling plant

The machine was at the recycling center where he was last seen working at night.

GREER, SC – A South Carolina coroner says a small collection of human remains was found near a wood chipper were DNA matched to a missing man.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said his office has been involved in the investigation into the disappearance of Duncan Alexander Burrell Gordon since it was confirmed that the remains found at the Industrial Recycling and Salvage Center in Greer were those of a person.

Clevenger said the remains amounted to what was later confirmed to be human fat, “microscopic particles of skin” and small pieces of bone.

A field test at the original location was unable to determine that the remains were human due to extremely dry blood at the scene. However, the blood was later found to be human when hydrated and tested in a lab.

Clevenger said he was contacted on June 10 with confirmation that the human DNA found at the scene was Gordon’s.

Spartanburg CBS station WSPA wrote that the man was reported missing on May 5 after he was last seen working night shifts at the recycling centre. The station also reports that the factory had been inspected four times since Gordon’s disappearance – including by his father who is a supervisor at the company.

A patrol supervisor from the sheriff’s office also examined the machine, as did investigators and a K-9 specializing in detecting human remains. It was during this search that material was found under the treadmill by a detective who later turned out to be human.

The coroner’s office said that between the time the man disappeared and the time the first investigator arrived to examine the machine, approximately 60,000 pounds of plastic had been processed.

As such, and with only a small portion of Gordon’s remains found, the coroner said his office was unable to issue a conventional death certificate.

“State regulations require another remedy for the family to obtain closure because there is no body,” he said. “The family has been informed of the procedure.”

In the meantime, his office has also been in contact with OSHA and the company regarding the incident.


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