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Twin Cities Family Offers Theory On Mummified Monkey In Dayton's

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Twin Cities family says it knows how a monkey died in the ceiling of the Dayton's building in downtown Minneapolis back in the 1960s.

Minneapolis Mummified Monkey Dayton's Renovation
(credit: Adam Peterson)

The Facebook page 'Old Minneapolis' posted a picture of the mummified remains this week. They were found during the Dayton's renovation.

Online amateur detectives threw out plenty of guesses about how the animal got there, but a family story passed through generations could have solved the mystery.

Robbinsdale Mayor Regan Murphy knew his father as a stoic man.

"It was fun to learn about this side we didn't know about my dad," he said.

It wasn't until his father passed away that family friends told him about Larry Murphy's more mischievous past.

"They got into a lot of trouble," Mayor Murphy said.

"He was an Irish boy. I think that says it all," Larry's wife Monica said.

Monica met Larry Murphy in high school in the 1960s and they eventually married. He told her a story from junior high when he and a buddy stole a monkey from the pet store at Dayton's.

"Monkeys are not house broken," she said. "The monkey was discovered by Tom's mom, and she said 'Absolutely not. Can't have it, can't keep it."

They brought it back to the store and released it, never knowing what happened to it.

When the family saw the picture of the mysterious mummified monkey on Facebook nearly six decades later, they couldn't believe it.

"I have one story of how I think it happened," Monica said.

Larry died in 2001 after a battle with cancer. His friend Tom, who conspired to steal the monkey, also passed away last year.

The Murphys say the bizarre discovery feels like Larry is still pulling his tricks.

"You know he was a great dad, and miss him dearly," Mayor Murphy said. "He's probably laughing right now."

Monica and Larry would be have been married 50 years this year. She says she's not proud of some of the things he did in his younger years, but smiles at the idea of him being part of a Minneapolis mystery.

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