Workers Find Mummified Body in Convention Center

Construction workers in Oakland, California, discovered a mummified body hidden in the wall of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center last month. The convention center has been closed since 2005 and is currently undergoing a massive restoration project.

On Tuesday (April 19), the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau announced they had identified the remains as 42-year-old Joseph Edward Mejica.

While his body was severely decomposed, the coroner’s office was able to identify him using the serial number of a tubular plate in his ankle. They then used DNA to confirm that it was Mejica’s body.

Mejica was last seen on August 22, 2020, and was reported missing by his mother one month later.

When the body was discovered in March, officials said they believed his death was an accident.

“Over time, his body slowly decayed and slipped toward the bottom of the cavity space,” Lt. Frederick Shavies said during a press conference when the body was found. “No obvious trauma was observed to the victim’s skeletal remains. No obvious or unnatural trauma was found, indicating foul play. Based on the positionality the victim’s body was found in, this tragic death is most likely an accidental death.”

The coroner’s office did not release a cause of death, but officials still believe Mejica’s death to be a tragic accident.

“We’re very proud of the work we’ve completed at the coroner’s bureau,” Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Without their thoroughness, this could have been a continued missing person. We’re glad we could have some resolution and conclusion for the family.”

2 comments

  • Don’t “smell” good to me. Fell in a cavity and didn’t call for help…..and speaking of smell. How is it nobody “sniffed out” his location. – If you ever smelled a dead body you would knew what I’m talking about.

    • I get what you mean, but the center was closed in 2005 and he went missing 2020. Guess no one else had been in the center. Question is what was he doing in the closed center?

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