Missing Man's Body Found In Theater Restroom After 5 Days
Family, Police Were Searching For Missing Man, Who Died Of Heart Attack
Alan Gathright, 7NEWS Content Producer
POSTED: 9:37 pm MST January 15, 2012
UPDATED: 11:44 pm MST January 16, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The decomposing body of a missing Loveland man was found in a locked restroom at a movie theater in Fort Collins after five days.
The body of George DeGrazio, 66, who had died of a heart attack, somehow went unnoticed for days, slumped in the locked family restroom at the Cinemark Fort Collins 16, at 4721 S. Timberline Drive, authorities said.
Theater employees noticing a bad odor made the gruesome discovery Saturday afternoon after forcing their way into the restroom.
"The theater employees noticed the smell and they reported it to the managers. And the managers eventually broke the lock and found him," Larimer County Deputy Coroner James MacNaughton told 7NEWS on Sunday.
Family members want to know why employees didn't check the theater top-to-bottom after police searched the area, asking businesses if they'd seen the missing man.
DeGrazio's family had reported him missing on Jan. 9. Fort Collins police found the man's red Nissan Xterra parked in the Cinemark parking lot early Wednesday morning. Police searched the area, but could not find the man.
"If I had the police department saying somebody disappeared in this area and we're trying to locate him, I would be searching every nook and cranny of my establishment," said Dylan DeGrazio, the dead man's son.
"But that didn't happen."
Dylan DeGrazio said he wasn't upset about how his father died. A Sunday autopsy showed he died from natural causes -- a heart attack caused by severe coronary artery disease, the coroner said.
But the son is disturbed by how his father's body was found after decomposing in a public restroom for days.
"I picture him just sitting there in this, like, slumped over, eyes-open position," Dylan DeGrazio told 7NEWS reporter Amanda Kost on Sunday night.
First Report On 7NEWS Sunday
"That's just the sheer reality of it. For somebody who didn't know George, that is just a corpse rotting in a bathroom, and that disgusts me. That disgusts me," he said.
7NEWS called the theater and were referred to Cinemark's corporate offices.
Cinemark released a statement on Monday saying, "Cinemark is working closely with the Fort Collins Police and Loveland Missing Persons Department on this case. As the case is ongoing, we are not able to discuss the details of the investigation at this time. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the DeGrazio family during this difficult period as they mourn the loss of a loved family member."
"I’d love to see them step up and actually take some responsibility. I’d love to see them step up and say, 'Hey, you know, there was a mistake made here and a poor man suffered an indignity that no person should suffer," said DeGrazio. "He will be missed and we need to find some sort of justice for what’s happened to him."
Dylan DeGrazio said he's hoping his family can find closure, now that his father's body has been found.
"We know where he was, we know what happened and now we can begin to move forward a little bit," he said.
He said the family is trying to focus on how his father lived, rather than how he was found.
"I have faith that he’s in a better place. I know he’s in a better place. We’ll still always have good memories of him, the good ones," he said.