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Police continue to investigate trash compactor death

Published February 08. 2014 4:00AM   Updated February 08. 2014 11:40PM

New London — City police and Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death Jan. 30 of a city resident who was crushed by a trash compactor at the city’s transfer station.

Floyd G. Smeeton, 59, of Borodell Place, died while apparently dumping garbage into a hopper containing an automatic compactor. Police said he likely had fallen into the machine, and they do not suspect foul play.

Danielle Sullivan, 24, was arrested on the evening of Smeeton’s death after police said she broke into Smeeton’s home and was caught leaving with a garbage bag of items. Police had contacted Sullivan after the death while trying to locate Smeeton’s family because Sullivan’s name had shown up as a possible resident at Smeeton’s home, according to a police incident report.

Sullivan said she no longer lived there but had a key to the home and wanted to gather her possessions from the home before it was secured by police. She gave police the key and was told not to go to the residence or she would be arrested.

When police arrived at Smeeton’s home, however, they found Sullivan on the rear deck with a white garbage bag containing several bath towels and Band-Aids. Police determined she had broken in through a basement window.

Police said Sullivan fought with police, trying to scratch and bite officers, during her arrest. Police, in their report to the court, said a female officer punched Sullivan in the head three times without any effect. Sullivan was found in possession of PCP.

A witness told police the same woman had been at the home earlier and left with several other garbage bags.

Police found four more bags at a home on Jay Street that contained more towels and bathroom items, with an estimated value of $110. Facing multiple criminal charges and held in lieu of a $25,000 bond, Sullivan is due back in court on Feb. 10.

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