Police Find Body Of Man Who Vanished After CCTV Showed Him Entering His Apartment
Police searching for a man who disappeared after being seen entering his apartment say they have recovered his body.
Christopher Woitel, a San Francisco-based computer programmer, was reported missing earlier this week, after his family became concerned no one had seen him for weeks. Woitel was seen on CCTV entering his apartment, but seemingly disappeared afterwards.
Now, police say the man has been discovered in a crawl-space above his apartment more than five weeks after he was last seen on CCTV. Police say that there was no indication of foul play and no signs of forced entry to the apartment.
In a statement, the San Francisco Police Department confirmed they discovered a body in a three-foot-tall crawl space located above the bathroom of the apartment.
Offering an explanation as to why the body was not discovered during an initial search that took place a few days earlier, police said the crawl space was ‘hidden from plain view,’ and suggested that Woitel likely would have accessed it from the roof of his apartment. The statement also revealed that ‘personnel from the San Francisco Fire Department arrived and needed to cut a hole in the ceiling in order to retrieve Mr. Woitel’s remains,’ the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The missing man’s family confirmed in a Facebook post on Tuesday, February 16, that Woitel’s body had been found, with a childhood friend who led a social media campaign to draw attention to the case saying they had been frustrated that it had taken more than a month for police to search the apartment.
Mark Guarino told TooFab:
It wasn’t an extra search. It was just a search. They didn’t search until this week, so it wasn’t extra. They just didn’t do anything until this week.
That’s the frustrating thing, his body had been sitting there for so long… It seemed natural just to search the building… and it didn’t happen until Monday. He could have been buried by now.
Woitel was last captured on CCTV entering his apartment on January 8. His family say they spoke to the 50-year-old a day later, and filed a missing persons report on January 13 after he vanished without a trace.
After becoming frustrated with a lack of action by the San Francisco police, the family reportedly hired a Private Investigator to look for Woitel, but they were unable to enter the apartment without a warrant, meaning the mystery continued to go unsolved until police conducted a search after Woitel’s story gained traction on social media last week.
Woitel’s cause of death is yet to be revealed pending the results of an autopsy. An investigation into his death is underway.
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