A construction crew was working on the renovation of a convention center in Oakland when they came across something they thought they’d never find: a mummified body in the wall.
On March 9, deputies were called to the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, according to authorities. A wall in the convention center was being deconstructed when a worker found what appeared to be a human body.
Lt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said, “We found remains best described as mummified. The conditions in the walls were such that the body was preserved in good conditions,” NBC News reported.
The convention center has been closed since 2005, so no one can be certain in knowing how long the body has been in the wall. However, the sheriff’s office did say the decomposition of the body made it impossible to immediately determine the person’s age or gender.
Kelly said the plan is to obtain fingerprints to help determine who the person is, how they got in the wall and how long they have actually been there, according to NBC News. For now, they said the mummified body was in the late stages of decay, so it was likely in the wall for several years.
In the statement from Kelly, he said, “Any theory is possible. It could be anything from someone who got in behind the wall and became trapped and died, to someone that put the person there. God only knows.”
Authorities are hoping once the fingerprints help to determine who the body is, then they can focus on how they got inside the wall and when it happened.
The convention center was named after a ship-building industrialist who later founded one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, Kaiser Permanente. The convention center opened in 1914, but would shut its doors in 2005, NBC News reported.
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Back in 2015, the City Council approved an agreement with a developer to lease the building, which would turn it into a commercial and performing arts space. That is the reason why construction workers were in the building and found the mummified body.