Mummified body found in convention center wall identified

The man whose mummified remains were found inside a wall at an Oakland, California, convention center has been identified.

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The Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau said the remains belonged to Edward Mejica, 42.

They used a plate found in his ankle to make the identification, KTVU reported. The identification was confirmed with DNA testing.

At first, investigators didn’t think they would be able to identify the remains because of how long they were in the wall and how mummified the body was, KPIX reported.

Mejica’s cause of death is listed as pending but investigators believe his death was accidental and that he died in the cavity near the top of the wall.

“Over time his body slowly decayed and slipped toward the bottom of the cavity space,” Lt. Frederick Shavies said earlier this year, NBC News reported.

Mejica was listed as missing in August 2020.

The Oakland Police Department had written a Facebook post at the time that said Mejica was known to visit homeless encampments in the area. His family had offered $5,000 for information on his whereabouts.

On 8/22/20, around 8 PM, Joseph Mejica was last seen in the area of 6th & Fallon Streets. He was wearing a black...

Posted by Oakland Police Department on Saturday, November 14, 2020

Mejica’s body was found in a shuttered convention center in a cavity that was 15 inches wide but 12 feet deep, KTVU reported.

The building was undergoing renovations when a construction worker saw what looked to be a human body in a wall that was being removed, NBC News reported.

>>Previous coverage: Mummified body found in convention center wall

The building was closed in 2005 when the city officials found the location’s operating cost was too high. The building was declared a historic landmark but was in disrepair.

A company was in the middle of rehabilitating the property for use as a performing arts venue and commercial space, KPIX reported.