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Body found in suitcase in Oakland's Lake Merritt

A body was found stuffed inside a suitcase in Oakland’s Lake Merritt Tuesday morning, police said.

Volunteers with a cleanup crew found the suitcase in the water near the intersection of Lakeshore and Hanover avenues.

“Normally we see luggage in the lake,” cleanup volunteer Kevin Shomo said. “Sometimes it’s full of clothes and it gets heavy from the water. We got near the body. We saw it and I said, ‘Wow, how are we going to get this out of here? It looks like it’s heavy.’ We pulled it towards us closer using these net poles and we grabbed one end and then realized it was too heavy…We unzipped it and that’s what we found.”

Shomo said he and other members of the cleanup crew spotted the large suitcase about five feet from shore.

When they hauled it in, they opened it up and found what they believe to be an adult man wrapped in what appeared to be a sheet.

“I was surprised that there was a body in the luggage,” Shomo said.

Dive teams pulled the suitcase and body out of the water. Homicide detectives were trying to figure out how the person died and how long the body had been in the lake.

“Part of the investigation is to try to determine where the body floated from as well,” Oakland police Capt. Alan Yu said. “It could be any part of the lake. We are looking into all those possible outcomes.”

The victim’s identity will be released following notification of next of kin.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Oakland Police Department’s Homicide Section at 510-238-3821 or reach out to the tip line at 510-238-7950.

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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