Tuesday , 28 May 2024
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Body Found in suitcase floating in Lake Merritt

A man’s body was found crammed in a suitcase on Tuesday morning, floating in Lake Merritt, Oakland’s crowned jewel.

The Oakland Fire Department responded to a 911 call around 11 a.m. after lake cleaning volunteers called. 

The man’s body was discovered in a suitcase on the side of Lake Merritt near Lakeshore and Hanover Avenues. 

The discovery was a disturbing sight at the lake, which is a popular recreational area in Oakland among its goers.

Kevin Shomo, who cleans the lake every Tuesday, was among the crew of volunteers that found the suitcase.

“I wasn’t shocked, but I was surprised it was a body in there,” said Shomo.

“We kind of pulled it towards us closer using these net poles. We grabbed one end and we realized it was too heavy. So we pulled it close enough to us and we said, ‘Oh wow, this thing is heavy’ so we unzipped it and that’s what we found,” Shomo concluded.

The man seemed to be in his 30s and was in the suitcase in a “fetal position”, according to Shomo.

A man’s body was found crammed in a suitcase on Tuesday morning, floating in Lake Merritt, Oakland's crowned jewel.

Oakland police Capt. Alan Yu confirmed that the origin of the suitcase in the lake is unknown and whether the man matches any missing persons reports has not been determined either.

“Part of the investigation is trying to determine where the body could have floated from. It could be any part of the lake, and we’re looking at all those possible outcomes,” Yu said.

After homicide investigators and Alameda County’s coroner’s investigators arrived, a concerned crowd began to form around the horrific scene on Halloween. 

Angela Massella, a nearby neighbor noticed the suspicious suitcase floating earlier in the morning around 8 a.m. Massella was startled by the news once she was notified what the suitcase contained.

“It’s really scary for me, for a body to be around the neighborhood here, it’s really scary,” she said.

Oakland police urge anyone with video surveillance or any information regarding the unidentified victim to come forward. 

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