Death of 19-year-old found at Birdsboro recycling facility ‘appears accidental,’ investigators say

Investigators say there is no evidence of foul play in the death of 19-year-old Kellen J. Bischoff of Manahawkin, New Jersey. Bischoff was found dead over the weekend at a recycling facility in Birdsboro.

On Saturday, November 12, 2022, at approximately 8:41 a.m., the Exeter Township Police Department responded to the Total Recycling Facility, 1270 Lincoln Rd, Birdsboro, after a deceased male was found among trash recyclables that had been dropped off by a trash hauler.  

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The Berks County District Attorney Detectives responded to assist with the investigation. A description of the deceased male, including several unique tattoos, was disseminated to Berks County law enforcement agencies in an effort to help identify the victim.

Based upon these descriptors, the Kutztown Borough Police Department recognized these identifiers to be a subject who had recently been reported missing to their agency. The victim was identified as Bischoff.

Detectives from Exeter Township Police Department and Berks County District Attorney Detectives met with officials from both the Kutztown Borough Police Department and Kutztown University Police. They learned that the victim had been visiting a family member in Kutztown Borough and he was last seen in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 12th, after leaving an off-campus house party.  

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As a result of the aforementioned information, investigators began to track the movement of the victim. Recovered surveillance footage showed the victim, who was alone, climbing into a dumpster located to the rear of the Dollar Tree, 45 Constitution Boulevard, Kutztown.

Several hours later, a trash hauler was observed arriving at this location. The contents of this dumpster were then emptied and compressed into the rear of the recycling truck and transported to the Total Recycling Facility, where the victim’s body was later discovered.    

On Monday, November 14, 2022, an autopsy was performed on the victim at the Tower Health Reading Hospital. Investigators say no signs of foul play or unexplained injuries were observed to the victim. The victim’s injuries were consistent with having been dumped into and later compressed by the trash truck. Toxicology results are pending.

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