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Dead Man Found Inside Meat Freezer In Merrillville

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Andrew Fugate (family handout)

Andrew Fugate (family handout)

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man’s body was found inside a freezer at a meat company in Northwest Indiana.

Andrew Fugate, who had been shot, was found at Piatak Meats, 6200 Broadway, in Merrillville.

Fugate, 27, who is the son of one of the market’s co-owners Steve Fugate, was found by another employee around 7 a.m., said co-owner Leo Roccaforte.

Nothing was missing from the store, said Roccaforte, who said Fugate, who lived in Hobart, was a good guy and hard working.

Roccaforte says his partner is taking it, “pretty bad. It’s only understandable. Andrew was a good person, very good worker.”

Fugate had arrived at 4 a.m. to begin his daily food preparation work, police said in a news release.

The victim was described as a diligent worker, apparently gunned down while trying to do his job.

“The whole family’s very broken. None of this makes sense. We don’t have any more than the police have right now,” family member Tony Parma told reporters Monday evening.

The Northwest Indiana Major Crimes Task Force, the Lake County coroner and Merrillville police are conducting a death investigation. In a news release police called this a burglary and murder.

Officers who spotted surveillance cameras at a nearby business reviewed the footage, but can’t yet say whether it will help in the investigation.

According to its website, the family-owned meat market has been in business in Northwest Indiana since 1910 and moved to Merrillville in 1959.

CBS 2 talked with Fugate’s parents, who say Andrew was home-schooled and didn’t have any enemies.