By Darrell Todd Maurina
A Muleshoe man died Thursday morning at a Farwell grain elevator owned by AGP Grain Marketing, according to Farwell police.
Samuel Alvarado appears to have fallen into a grain silo and died as a result of suffocation, said Farwell Police Chief Robert Achterberg.
“We received a 911 call approximately 10:35 a.m. (Thursday) morning; the emergency call indicated there was a person missing and they may be in one of the silos,” Achterberg said. “We contacted the people, the managers and persons who work there. We tried to confirm it and at that point in time nobody knew where Mr. Alvarado was.”
Achterberg said elevator staff began to empty one of the silos and found Alvarado’s body at the bottom.
“We believe the subject fell inside and when he went to the bottom of the silo the subject suffocated,” Achterberg said.
Achterberg said the body was taken to Lubbock for an autopsy. He had few details on what may have caused Alvarado to fall into the silo. Alvarado’s age and job title weren’t immediately available.
Scott Brown, the AGP manager in Farwell, said he couldn’t comment on the incident and referred inquiries to the company’s corporate offices. Switchboard staff at AGP corporate offices in Omaha, Neb., said Thursday evening that no one would be available to answer questions until Friday.
Estella Cancino, Alvarado’s niece, said family members gathered Thursday evening at the Alvarado home in Muleshoe.
“He was the kindest man on earth. He was always there when we needed him. He always had a shoulder for all of us,” Cancino said. “He was a special person on this earth and we’ll miss him a lot.”
Cancino wasn’t sure how long her uncle had worked at AGP, but said he had been in the grain elevator business for years and enjoyed his work.
“He was happy about his job,” Cancino said. “He would always come home with a smile on his face. Of course he was tired, but he would never say anything about hating it. He was always happy, always joking around.”
Cancino said Alvarado’s survivors include his wife, eight children, and his mother.
Funeral arrangements will be under the direction of Ellis Funeral Homes of Muleshoe. Service times had not been set Thursday evening.