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Arby's employee found dead in store freezer

Screenshot of KTSM-TV YouTube video

An employee at a Louisiana Arby's made a horrific discovery earlier this week: the unresponsive body of a female coworker in the store's walk-in freezer.

At around 6:20 p.m. on Thursday evening, police were called to an Arby's restaurant on Admiral Doyle Drive in New Iberia, Louisiana, about 20 miles south of Lafayette. When they arrived, they found that a store employee had found a female coworker unresponsive in the walk-in freezer. The woman was later pronounced deceased.

Police initially determined that the death appeared "suspicious," but they have since clarified that they do not suspect any foul play. "A situation like this is unusual, so we’re taking extra precautions during the investigation," said New Iberia Police Capt. Leland Laseter.

"After completely processing the crime scene," Laseter continued, "... this does not seem like a homicide. It seems like an accident."

Thus far, the victim's name and age have not been released, and other details regarding her demise are scarce. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Several store employees were also interviewed as part of the investigation.

"So there are a few more steps that we need to take before a (final) determination is made," Laseter reiterated, adding, "Nothing is set in stone yet."

Laurel Sprague, the brand reputation manager from an Arby's corporate office, issued a statement regarding the employee's passing. "We are aware of the incident that took place at our franchised location in New Iberia, LA," the statement said. "The franchisee is cooperating fully with local authorities as they conduct their investigation. Due to this being an active investigation, we defer any further comment to the police department."

Reports indicate that the restaurant was at least temporarily closed while police processed the scene, as police tape had barred the entryway during normal business hours on Thursday evening. It is unclear whether the store has since resumed normal operations. Laseter stated that police intended to "re-examine all the evidence" on Friday.

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