Update, March 29: The coroner’s office identified the man as 52-year-old Mark David Hutchings. He had no listed home address. Cause and manner of death have not been determined pending toxicology results, the coroner’s office said Thursday.
Original story, March 13: A man was found dead on a West Berkeley street Monday morning, but he has not been identified and little is known about the circumstances of his demise, authorities report.
The man’s identity has not been determined pending the results of a fingerprint analysis, the Alameda County coroner’s office told Berkeleyside on Tuesday morning. That analysis may take several days.
The unattended death is now a coroner’s case, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel, Berkeley Police Department spokesman.
Frankel said a community member called police Monday at 11:45 a.m. to report he saw what appeared to be a dead body on Ashby near the tunnel where it crosses under Bay Street. The coroner’s office responded to the scene and took possession of the body, Frankel said, and “it is now their case.”
Frankel said it was unknown, as of Tuesday morning, whether the man had been homeless at the time of his death. No further information was released.
Readers told Berkeleyside there was a crime scene van on Ashby Avenue, and numerous police cars near the underpass by the freeway, which is not far from Aquatic Park.
According to a scanner recording reviewed by Berkeleyside, a passer-by saw the man under the bridge and believed the man had died. He described the person who was deceased as a black man in his 30s wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. He had “possibly open wounds on his stomach,” according to the unconfirmed scanner traffic.
The Berkeley Fire Department was dispatched to the scene shortly before noon Monday, but the call was canceled before firefighters could get there, BFD told Berkeleyside on Tuesday.