A construction worker found a mummified body in the wall of the Oakland convention center on Wednesday, authorities said.The body was found during renovations at the Henry J.Kaiser Convention Center, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said.
The partially decomposed corpse probably had been there for several years and had mummified, authorities said.
“Any theory is possible,” Lt.Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office told NBC News.”It could be anything from someone who got in behind the wall and became trapped and died to someone put the person there.
God only knows.”
The decomposition made it impossible to immediately determine the age or gender of the body, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The city-owned convention center near Lake Merritt has been closed since 2005.
But in 2015 the City Council reached an agreement with a developer to lease the building and turn it into a commercial and performing arts space.
CBS San Francisco reports the convention center is owned by the city of Oakland and was closed in 2005 when officials decided Oakland’s operating costs for the building were too expensive to sustain.Despite being declared an Oakland-designated historic landmark, the structure has fallen into increasing disrepair.
In 2015, the Oakland City Council authorized an exclusive negotiation agreement with Orton Development, Inc.Orton has proposed to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the building as a performing arts venue and commercial space, leasing it from Oakland.
Construction on the project was scheduled to begin in 2020.
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