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Detectives sift through garbage to find suspected murder weapon

Las Vegas police homicide detectives recently scoured through mounds of trash at Republic Services to find a firearm they say links a man to a downtown Las Vegas slaying.

The dirty job for detectives stemmed from the Wednesday night killing of David Baker, 60, of Las Vegas, at the Siegel Suites, 600 E. Bonanza Road. Police have since arrested Derick McGruder, 36, on suspicion of murder in the slaying.

Police said in an arrest report for McGruder that they found Baker shot to death in a third-floor apartment at the complex at 11:48 p.m.. Two 9 mm cartridge casings were found on the floor next to his body. A few moments after the discovery of the body, police said, they found McGruder hiding behind a nearby dumpster in the complex. Police said McGruder had injuries to his hands and blood on his shoes.

Upon questioning, police said McGruder confirmed he lived next to Baker and that he’d been in a fight with Baker “over a belief that there was an intimate relationship between David and Derick’s fiance,” police wrote in the report.

McGruder, however, denied killing Baker. Police said they later obtained video surveillance from the complex showing a man wearing very similar clothing to McGruder’s going into the area of the complex dumpsters one minute after the killing.

Police had trash hauler Republic Services transfer all the dumpsters from the complex to Republic’s Cheyenne Transfer Station. There, they searched through the garbage.

“Detectives sifted and searched through the contents of all six dumpsters and located a black Springfield XD 9 mm firearm,” police said, adding “the bullets and cartridges match the cartridge casings recovered from the scene.”

A criminal complaint in the case has not been filed. McGruder was scheduled to appear in Las Vegas Justice Court Tuesday for a status check.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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