Wheeler seen alive hours before his death

A murdered political adviser who worked for three presidential administrations was seen alive the afternoon before his body was discovered on New Year’s Eve in a Newark, Delaware landfill.

John Wheeler III was seen 15 miles away from the landfill in downtown Wilmington on the final days before his death, according to Fox8.com. Witnesses reported seeing him behaving erratically on December 29.

A parking lot attendant next to the New Castle County Courthouse told authorities that Wheeler was disoriented and could not find his car. He was holding one shoe and not wearing a coat despite the cold weather. He told the attendant he had been robbed, Fox8.com reports.

"We still don't know the location of the crime scene," Lt. Mark Farrall said , according to Fox8.com.

It is believed that Wheeler’s body was picked up by the garbage truck early in its run, but even that is not entirely certain. If that is the case, then whoever left it risked being picked up on surveillance cameras or being seen by witnesses in the college town, though there are more secluded stops.

The garbage truck’s route is 10 miles from the Wheeler home, where police tape can still be seen in the kitchen. The house is not being treated as a crime scene.

Wheeler was involved in a property dispute with a couple trying to build a house across the street from their duplex, but police have given no indication whether or not they believe it could have anything to do with the case.

"It is one facet of the investigation," Farrall said, Fox8.com reports.

Wheeler was the son of a decorated Army officer and followed in his father's footsteps when he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He worked for three Republican administrations - Ronald Reagan’s and both of the Bush administrations.

In the office of the Secretary of Defense, Wheeler wrote a manual on the effectiveness of biological and chemical weapons and recommended that the United States use neither.