OAKLAND — The discovery of a human skull inside what one officer described as a time capsule at a business near Oakland International Airport was being investigated by authorities Tuesday.
The mostly intact skull was actually found last week at Pacific Panels Inc., 74 98th Ave., but was not reported to police until about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Peter Borris, president of the company that manufactures aluminum honeycomb panels, said the sealed wooden box was found on Nov. 26 by a relatively new employee who was doing cleanup work in the production area of the business.
He estimated the box had been at the business probably 15 years.
Police confirmed that was a good assessment, based on papers, documents and other items found inside. They would not go into more detail.
Patrol Sgt. Dom Arotzarena said it was a “time capsule-looking box.”
The skull was to be turned over to the Alameda County Coroner’s Office to see if the sex, age, race and cause of death could be determined as well as who owned it and how it got to the business.
In prior cases where skulls and human bones have been found, the coroner’s office has brought in forensic anthropologists to assist their investigations.
Borris said the company began operation 20 years ago on 57th Avenue in Oakland and has been at the 98th Avenue site for 18 years where nothing like this has ever happened.
“It’s like a once in a lifetime experience, but nobody is freaking out,” he said.