Construction workers at the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland discovered a mummified body inside a wall on March 9, but authorities say foul play is not likely the cause of death.
“Based on the (position) the victim’s body was found in, this tragic death was most likely an accidental death caused by positional asphyxiation due to compression from the small space,” Oakland Police Lt. Frederick Shavies said through Twitter video on March 10.
“Markings and biological evidence at the top of the opening indicate the victim may have been deceased near the top, and over time his body slowly decayed and slipped toward the bottom of the cavity space.”
“This explanation is confusing without a visual aid, but it sounds like we may be talking about a homeless person who was squatting in the abandoned convention center and who somehow met his end by falling into this wall cavity from above,” SFiST reports.
Investigators are working to identify the body with DNA and dental records, and say there is a hope that the hands of that body were preserved enough so they can be hydrated and fingerprints can be taken.
The convention center, originally constructed in 1914, is being renovated as a multi-use space for artists and others in office settings.