Police puzzle over killing of Vietnam Memorial backer

Police in Newark, Del., are asking for the public’s help to solve the homicide of a man who was instrumental in construction of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. 

John Wheeler was found at the Cherry Island landfill on New Years Eve. Wheeler, 66, lived in the 100 block of West Third Street in New Castle.

A trash worker discovered Wheeler’s body in a trash bin.  He had last been seen Tuesday as he took an Amtrak train from Washington to Wilmington.

The News Journal reports Wheeler was a defense consultant.  He was a Vietnam veteran and served several Republican presidents as chairman for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial fund.

Police have not released a specific cause of death.  New Castle County police are assisting Newark police in the investigation. 

The police released a statement Monday evening on behalf of the family:

“As you must appreciate, this is a tragic time for the family.  We are grieving our loss.  Please understand that the family has no further comment at this time.  We trust that everyone will respect the family’s privacy.”

 Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Nicholas Sansone at 302-366-7110 ext. 135 or Nick.Sansone@cj.state.de.us. You can send an anonymous text message tip by texting 302NPD and your message to TIP411. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.  There could be a reward for some information.

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