Authorities ID man found dead behind Belleville gas station

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. - The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department is looking for friends or family members who can help them determine what led to the death of a St. Louis man whose body was found last week behind a Belleville gas station.

According to Capt. Bruce W. Fleshren, Chief of Investigations for the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, a passerby discovered the body around 6 p.m. on September 11.

Sheriff’s deputies said the body of 28-year-old Anel Mujkanovic was hidden in some brush behind the Belleville Food Mart in the 1400 block of Centreville Avenue and was badly decomposed. The body could have been there for seven or eight days, Fleshren said.

A car found nearby was the same car Mujkanovic took from an acquaintance in St. Louis on September 3, investigators said.  Surveillance video showed the clothes he was wearing when he took the car were the same clothes found on the body eight days later.

No one had reported him missing and no loved ones have come forward, investigators said.

An autopsy did not find any signs of trauma or foul play.

Anel Mujkanovic

“We believe [he] may have had an opioid problem which may have contributed to his death,” said Capt. Bruce Fleshren. “That’s what we’re looking to speak to people and family members about.  Unfortunately, no one wants to have a family member missing, unknown, somewhere that no one claims. So, we’re trying to resolve this for not only Mr. Mujkanovic but ourselves and his family.”

Fleshren said Mujkanovic's death may have been the result of opioid use. Mujkanovic's parents contacted Crestwood police on Monday afternoon, but authorities still want to speak with people who were familiar with him to wrap their investigation.

Investigators were awaiting toxicology reports and possible fingerprint or dental records to confirm the ID and the cause of death.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the sheriff's department at 618-825-5204 or the St. Clair County Coroner's Office at 618-234-4442.

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