NATCHEZ, Mississippi (Reuters) – The fully-clothed skeletal remains of a man found in the chimney of an historic Mississippi building last week were those of a bungling burglar missing for more than 15 years, police said Wednesday.
The remains of Calvin Wilson, 27, were found on Friday by masons renovating a building in the historic part of Natchez, Mississippi, a town about 100 miles southwest of the state capital Jackson.
Wilson disappeared in 1985. At that time, there was a gift shop in the building, which dates from before the Civil War.
“His criminal record shows he was a burglar, so the suspicion is that he was crawling down the chimney to burglarize the business at that period of time, became lodged and died,” Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell said.
Ferrell, who said police identified the remains from a wallet found with them, speculated that breezes from a nearby river may have kept neighbors from noticing signs that a body was decomposing in the chimney.
“There is no suspicion of foul play,” Ferrell said.