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Body Found In Apartment Building Chimney

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) -- Police responding to a call of possible squatters at a Brooklyn Center apartment complex instead found a dead body inside a chimney.

Police were called to the 5300 block of Russell Avenue North Wednesday on a call regarding the possible squatters, according to Tim Gannon of Brooklyn Center Police.

"He had a feeling or maybe had seen the individual maybe in the area, or in the last few days, and wanted the police to just walk through the complex," he said. "The officers walked around the complex, discovered a roof access that had been opened, that wasn't normally opened.

They gained access to the roof, saw some clothing items on the roof, looked over what we'd call a chimney-type structure and they saw a body at the bottom of the structure."

Officers examined the roof and checked the chimney. The body of an adult male was found about 15 to 20 feet down from the roof.

Police say the body had been there at least a day or two.

"There's a lot of traffic in and out of there, throughout the night," said John Reinarz, a neighbor of the building.

He said the complex has seen its share of problems -- but nothing like this.

Police had to cut the body out of the chimney in order to remove it. The cause of death is unknown, pending a report from the medical examiner.

Other items found on the roof included clothing, silverware and even a sleeping bag.

Officers must now work to find out how the man died, who he is and who might have put him there.

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