A body has been discovered inside a pillar outside a grocery store in California after a strange odor led workers to think there was a sewage leak. When a plumber was called in, the gruesome discovery was made and police are now potentially linking the death to a fugitive who was on the run last week.
According to USA Today, a store manager for WinCo Foods in Lancaster called a plumber after a persistent smell was detected in one of the pillars outside their store. Suspecting a sewage leak, a plumber was called but a decomposing body was found instead of a leak after the plumber chipped away at the pillar to find the source of the foul odor.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department suspects the remains belong to a fugitive who "fled from police days earlier last week." Officials were obviously shocked and appalled by the discovery.
"It's been over 100 degrees up here every day," Lt. John Corina told KABC-TV. "I can't imagine being inside that column and just baking... it's a horrible way to die."
It was later revealed by KCAL9 that further work on the pillar revealed "a man standing with an arm trapped behind his head."
According to reports, the suspect initially fled from police on Monday after crashing his car. This person was last seen fleeing to the roof of WinCo Foods before he was lost from sight.A witness to the original incident, Henry Oliver, told about the suspect's efforts to escape.
"He got out of the car, ran in, ran up the steps... and somehow got on the roof, and last I heard he got away," Oliver revealed to KABC-TV.
The roof of the grocery store does offer access to the pillars in front of the store, so while authorities initially thought the suspect had evaded their pursuit, it seems the fugitive somehow ended up inside one of the large pillars. It is unclear yet whether the person purposely used this access point to evade detection or whether they somehow fell into the pillar and couldn't get out as a result.
"He may have gotten inside there and gotten down to try and hide from the deputies and then couldn't get out," Lt. John Corina said, according to NBC Los Angeles.
As yet, the sex of the deceased has not yet been identified, nor has a formal identification been made in regard to the body discovered inside the grocery store pillar.