Construction Crew Finds Mummified Body in Wall of Historic Building

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Well-preserved remains

In Oakland, CA, a construction crew working on the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center found a mummified body in a wall.

"We found remains best described as mummified," said Lt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. "The conditions in the walls were such that the body was preserved in good condition."

Deputies say they can lift fingerprints from the well-preserved body to investigate the subject's identity; this will give them a better idea of how the person got there and how long they've been there.

"Any theory is possible," Lt. Kelly said. "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 convention center, named for the industrialist who would later start one of the nation's largest health insurance companies, Kaiser-Permanente, opened in 1914 and closed almost a century later. Since 2015, construction crews have worked to convert the building into a mixed-use performing arts venue.

Investigators don't know if the body shares the same age as the building or arrived later; they intend to contact historians regarding the possible date of the wall's construction.

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