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After 5 Weeks, Missing Man's Body Found in His Building

Christopher Woitel vanished Jan. 9
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2021 8:39 PM CST

(Newser) – The mystery of San Francisco man Christopher Woitel's location has been solved—but authorities still don't know what happened to him. Police say the body of the missing 50-year-old has been found in his apartment building, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. After his family reported him missing last month, a private investigator they hired found that surveillance footage showed him entering the building carrying what appeared to be a bottle of wine on Jan. 8, but there was no footage of him leaving the building again. Private investigator Scott Williams said that when a locksmith opened Woitel's unit for the building manger and police officers on Jan. 16, the chain lock was still engaged from the inside.

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It's not clear where in the multi-unit building Woitel's body was found. His apartment was checked by police, the building manager, and Williams, who said he checked the attic space above the unit through an opening in the bathroom ceiling and saw no sign anybody had been up there, reports the New York Daily News. Police say an autopsy is pending. Family members say that until communication abruptly stopped on Jan. 9, Woitel had been sending paranoid messages about wanting to escape to the mountains, Mission Local reports. Williams said a homeless man Woitel had befriended told him Woitel had sold him his phone and said he had a psychic vision that Woitel had been murdered and dumped in the water. Days before Woitel's body was found, family members flew in from the Midwest and handed out missing person flyers in his neighborhood. (Read more missing person stories.)

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