Police identify body found at Mercer landfill

PINE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WKBN) — Austintown Police Chief Robert Gavalier confirmed that the dead woman found Wednesday afternoon at a Mercer County trash transfer station is 16-year-old Gina Burger of Austintown.

Burger had been reported missing since Monday and was last seen in Austintown. Burger’s family signed paperwork for the death Friday.

Investigators don’t know how Burger’s body ended up at the Tri-County Industries site off Route 208 near Grove City.

Pennsylvania State Troopers spent the day on Thursday combing through a landfill just east of Interstate 79 in Butler County looking for clues to Burger’s identity after workers found her body Wednesday afternoon at a garbage transfer station near Grove City.

On Wednesday evening, troopers searched the Tri-County Industries facility off Route 208 in Pine Township, near the Prime Outlets shopping area, where the victim’s body was found.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Dan Kesten said Burger, who had no identifying marks, was wearing a black tank top with black stretch pants and white socks with green accents.

Investigators said Tri-County often sends the waste collected at the transfer station to the landfill in Butler County for disposal. But troopers said they don’t know how the victim’s body ended up in Pine Township since Tri-County takes in hundreds of loads of garbage each day from all around the region.

“Which goes as far east as Clarion and as far west as Youngstown. It also goes as far north as Erie, down to Mercer County,” Kesten said.

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