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Dead girl found at waste site ID'd as Ohio teen

June 27, 2014 News Extra

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PINE TWP, Mercer County — The female body discovered at a Mercer County waste disposal facility has been identified as an Ohio teen.

Police in Austintown Township, Mahoning County, confirmed that the body of the girl found Wednesday at the Tri-County Industries waste transfer station is Gina Burger, 16, of Austintown Township.

Police Chief Robert Gavalier said Friday that Burger went missing Monday night. She was last seen about 8 p.m. and was reported missing by her mother about 11 p.m.

Workers at Tri-County Industries discovered the body Wednesday afternoon while loading trash into trucks at the company's waste transfer station on TCI Park Drive.

“We don't know what happened to her or how she ended up in Pennsylvania,” Chief Gavalier said. “We just found out at 2:30 p.m. (Friday) that it was our girl.”

Gavalier said the department was contacted by the Erie County coroner. Gavalier did not know the cause of death Friday evening.

“We're still waiting on the medical examiner's report,” he said.

The chief said his department is beginning an investigation, but had little to report until it knows the cause of death.

State police in Mercer said autopsy was done Thursday in Erie.

State police confirmed the girl was a minor and was identified following the autopsy, but offered no other information on the case.

Police said the body was likely dumped at the facility between midnight and 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The transfer station collects trash from nine counties, spanning as far east as Clarion County and as far west as Youngstown, Ohio, and north to Erie.

It also collects garbage from more than 20 municipalities in the northern half of Butler County.

Austintown Township borders Youngstown.

Police said it appeared the girl had died recently, but would not detail any trauma to the body that could suggest a cause of death.

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