updated 6/12/2007 3:12:33 PM ET 2007-06-12T19:12:33

Two people whose bodies were found at paper recycling plants more than 1,000 miles apart were a homeless couple who apparently went to sleep in a recycling container before its contents were compacted, police said Tuesday.

Officials said there were no obvious signs of foul play.

One body was found last week at the Abitibi Consolidated plant in Snowflake, Ariz., about 175 miles northeast of Phoenix. It was positively identified Tuesday as Thomas Jansen, 53, a south St. Louis County man missing since late last month, authorities said.

The Navajo County, Ariz., sheriff's office told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that workers at the Snowflake plant found the body in a large container used to collect material rejected in the paper recycling process.

Using railroad documents, investigators determined that a large bale of material had been shipped to the Arizona plant from the St. Louis area. Jansen's body was identified from partial fingerprints and a description on an expired driver's license.

The body of Jansen's wife, Susan, 48, was found May 24 on a conveyor belt at a recycling center in north St. Louis.

Police believe both of the Jansens, who had recently become homeless, had gone to sleep in a recycling container in south St. Louis County before the container's contents were emptied into a truck and compacted.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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