ROCHESTER, NY — A 73-year-old man was found dead in a garbage can on his front porch, where police believe he had been stuck for three days.

Robert Hamm waved to a mailman and a newspaper carrier while in the trash can earlier this week but may have been too weak to alert them that he was stuck, police said.

Days earlier he'd waved to a mailman and a newsboy while stuck in the can.

"I would imagine he was probably trying to signal something, but his expression or whatever wasn't enough to get them to do anything about it," said Sgt. R.J. Liepins.

The 11-year-old newspaper carrier, who had waved back to Hamm on Monday, discovered him dead Wednesday.

Hamm, who was of medium height and build, apparently had fallen backward into the standard-size metal can on his enclosed porch and couldn't get out, Liepins said. He was found in the can up to his armpits, with his legs sticking out.