Decomposed body found in long-shuttered N.J. police station

PATERSON, N.J. -- Authorities have found the decomposed remains of a person in a vacant New Jersey police station that has been boarded up since 1979.

The remains were found Monday during an inspection of the building that served as Paterson Police Headquarters until a fire made it unusable.

The medical examiner has removed the remains, which have not been identified.

Authorities are trying to identify the person and determine when and how the person died.

Capt. Richard Reyes with the Paterson Police Department told Crimesider investigators believe the person was a squatter. Because of the severely decomposed state of the remains, police can’t be sure whether the person was male or female.

Investigators don’t suspect foul play, Reyes said. He wouldn’t say where in the building the remains were located, but said they were not buried. 

He said investigators don’t yet know how long the body was in the building.

“I’ve never seen anyone get inside, I don’t think there’s access for anyone to get inside. If there’s a body there then it had to be there before I was even born,” Alvonesha Brown, who works next door, told CBS New York. “It’s interesting. I would like to know who it is and the story behind what happened here.”