A horrific discovery made recently, of a young man essentially being vaporized in a plastic shredder, has led to questions. Duncan Alexander “Alex” Burrell Gordon (20) of Greer, South Carolina, is believed to have fallen into the shredder during his night shift at the Industrial Recovery and Recycling plant in May. After weeks of investigation, DNA found in bits of plastic were finally matched to him.
Alex’s father, Michael Gordon, was also working at the plant when the incident happened. The two men, who lived together about five miles from the plant, allegedly shared a Wendy’s dinner together around midnight before going separate ways. Michael went to check on a malfunctioning vacuum system and Alex went back to the shredder.
Shredder Previously Was Investigated By OSHA
It is believed that Alex somehow fell into the shredder, which had previously been investigated for questionable safety protocols.
“We know that this machine, this particular machine had been investigated previously by OSHA,” said Michael Gordon’s attorney, Charles Hodge. “And I think it had to do with the railing.”
The railing was only 24.5 inches tall. Alex, on the other hand, was 6 feet tall. So it is very conceivable that he could have fallen over the railing.
At that point, the heat from the machine may have evaporated Alex’s body. In the past, animals had fallen in, and pieces of their bodies could occasionally be detected in the plastics.
When Alex’s father returned to find him that night but could not find him, he and other employees looked at the plastics being produced. One person said that something they found “looks like a cat.” No signs of blood or human remains could be found inside the shredder.
The plant conducted a blood test and labeled what was found as “nonhuman.” But later DNA samples by authorities finally identified the samples as belonging to Alex.
Alex Gordon’s Dad Was Fired For Speaking Publicly
Michael Gordon says he was subsequently fired from the plant for speaking publicly about his son’s disappearance. And now he’s trying to file Worker’s Compensation damages via his attorney.
Even more confounding is the fact that because no body has been found, the coroner hasn’t been able to issue a death certificate. Despite Alex’s DNA being found inside bits of plastic, he still is simply labeled as “missing” instead of deceased.
The investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, his father is devastated.
“I’m so lost without him,” he said. “We were together 24/7. He lived with me and now it’s hard. I go in his room all the time and talk to him and tell him I miss him. I just want my Alex back.”