OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Investigators announced Monday they had identified the mummified body found inside a wall at Oakland's Kaiser Convention Center last month.
Authorities said that after conducting an autopsy and forensic probe, the Alameda County Coroner's Bureau identified the body as being 42-year-old Joseph Edward Mejica, who, according to state officials, was last seen alive on Aug. 22, 2020.
Initially inspectors thought they wouldn't be able identify the body as it remained in the wall long enough to mummify.
The body was found by construction workers as they demolished an interior wall.
The city of Oakland closed the Henry J. Kaiser Center in 2005 when officials decided Oakland's operating costs for the building were too expensive to sustain. Despite being declared an Oakland-designated historic landmark, the structure has fallen into increasing disrepair.
In 2015, the Oakland City Council authorized an exclusive negotiation agreement with Orton Development, Inc. Orton has proposed to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the building as a performing arts venue and commercial space, leasing it from Oakland.
Construction on the project was scheduled to begin in 2020
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