Human remains found in abandoned church in Milwaukee
In a long-abandoned building that was once the site of Milwaukee’s Genesis Missionary Baptist Church, a “mostly skeletonized” body was discovered earlier this month. YouTube vlogger Matthew Nunez, who had filmed deserted structures in the area, called police after finding the human remains on August 10.
Investigators are now asking for the public’s help in identifying the individual. And neighbors are urging community leaders to prevent future tragedies and put empty churches to good use.
Authorities are asking for help identifying the human remains
Investigators say the body is that of a 5-foot-9, African-American male. He wore several layers of clothing, including two jackets. No weapons, drugs or injuries were evident. The medical examiner’s office was unable to determine the time of death.
Although most of the man’s body was mummified, investigators were able to identify several tattoos, including the word “KING” and the letters “SAVA”. No matches have yet been made to the missing persons or tattoo databases.
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The man also wore a red allergy alert bracelet and five rings. Authorities shared photos of the jewelry, hoping to get leads on the man’s identification.
Although the YouTuber found a cell phone in the building, investigators determined it belonged to someone who is still alive.
“We would like to be able to provide some type of closure to this family that we have here,” says Amy Michalak, lead forensic investigator with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. “We have found their beloved.”
Anyone with information about the individual is asked to call MOE at (414) 223-1200 or local police at (414) 935-7360.
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The building, located in the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee, has been zoned for multiple use. The church occupied the ground floor, while the second floor apparently contained rooms or apartments. Neighbors say the building had been abandoned for about 15 years.
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Investigators describe the structure as “disgusting”, unsafe and in an “extreme state of disrepair”. The walls and ceiling of the building reportedly collapsed and rubbish was strewn throughout the property.