Mummified body found by construction worker in wall of Oakland Convention Center: ‘God only knows’
A construction worker discovered 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 had likely been there for several years and had mummified, authorities said.
“Any theory is possible,” said Lt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Recount NBC News. “It could be anything from someone who got in behind the wall and got trapped and died to someone who put the person there. God only knows.”
The decomposition made it impossible to immediately determine the age or sex 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 struck a deal with a developer to lease the building and turn it into a retail 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 that Oakland’s operating costs for the building were too expensive to bear. Despite being declared a Designated Historic Landmark by Oakland, the structure has fallen into a state of increasing disrepair.
In 2015, the Oakland City Council authorized an exclusive negotiation agreement with Orton Development, Inc. Orton proposed to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the building as a performance hall and commercial space, leasing it to Oakland .
Construction of the project was scheduled to begin in 2020.