Entombed Berkeley Body Identified

The body of a man found inside a Berkeley apartment complex last week was identified as the son of the 60-year-old apartment manager who shot and killed himself in the same complex earlier that week.

Taruk Joseph Ben Ali, who would have been 40 years old this year, may have gone missing in 2004, according to Berkeley police.

His badly decomposed body was found last Wednesday wrapped up and hidden behind a wall in the laundry room of the complex, police spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said. The cause of his death is still unknown, she said.

Two days earlier, his father Hassan Ben Ali shot and killed himself in an apartment in the same complex, located at 2235 Ashby Ave., in front of two police officers who responded to a report that Ali was arguing with someone.

The younger Ben Ali was identified through dental records, police said.

Kusmiss said that based on preliminary police investigations, which have included interviews with family, friends and tenants, Taruk Ben Ali may have been missing since mid to late 2004.

Both father and son had been living in and managing the apartment complex, but in recent years, neighbors and tenants said only the father was managing it, Kusmiss said.

Both men had prior contacts with police, according to Kusmiss.

"The Berkeley Police Department were familiar with both the father and the son from prior incidents and arrest reports," she said.

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