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Milwaukee police work to identify skeletal remains found in abandoned building

The majority of the body was mummified, except the head, feet, and one hand.
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Posted at 10:14 AM, Aug 18, 2022

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Department is working to identify skeletal remains that were found in an abandoned building last week.

The remains were found on Aug. 10 at 231 W Burleigh Street. According to an investigation report from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, the building was a multi-use building with a church on the first floor and rooms upstairs.

It has been "long abandoned" according to the report.

Police assumed the deceased was a man based on the clothing he was wearing. The ME later confirmed.

The medical examiner's office said a majority of the remains were "mummified" except for the head, feet, and one hand. Because of the mummification, the medical examiner's office was able to identify tattoos on the body and submit them into a database.

The tattoos did not match anyone already in the database, but the tattoos can be used in the future if investigators get a lead on the man's identity.

According to the ME's office, one of the tattoos is on the left forearm and it says "KING." There's a geometric design on the upper left arm, and a right forearm tattoo with the letters S A V A on it, but the other designs are hard to make out.

"We'd like to be able to provide some type of closure to that family that we have here. We have found their loved one," said Amy Michalak, lead forensic investigator at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office.

Officials said the man was wearing multiple layers of clothing including athletic pants, long underwear, and what appeared to be two jackets.

Michalak said they also found a red allergy alert bracelet commonly used in hospitals on the body.

In addition to recovering the clothes the man was wearing, officials also found rings. Investigators are hoping someone will recognize the rings and know who they belong to.

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The man did not appear to have any injuries, and the investigator's report said there was no sign of drugs.

Milwaukee police are going through missing person reports to see if anyone matches the man's description. They're also hoping to find a match through the tattoo system. However, if you have any information on this investigation or if you have an idea of who the deceased is, call MPD at 414-935-7360 or the ME's office at 414-223-1200.

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