Oakland police believe that a headless, limbless torso found near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Wednesday afternoon has been in the water for at least a month and on the rocks for a couple of days, based on the rate of its decomposition.
Oakland Police Department spokesperson Johnna Watson said investigators believe the torso might be of a young man, but it will take a few days to determine the age and gender.
The torso was discovered on rocks near the bay by a contract worker who was in the area, Watson said. She said the worker was on lunch break taking pictures of the bridge when he noticed the torso off of Burma Road near the foot of the eastern span of the bridge.
[NATL] Top News Photos: Pope Visits Japan, and More
Investigators will try to find out if the death is related to a boating accident, suicide or a missing persons case.
As of 3 p.m., the torso was still at the scene of its discovery. Police and investigators were also there.
There are indications that the limbs may have been lost due to interactions with marine wildlife or contact with large rocks in the bay, according to Watson, who said the condition of the remains could possibly be explained by the length of time in the water.
"The more time a body's in the water the more it's apt to be exposed to all the different elements," Watson said.
Part of one femur was protruding from the torso, but the lower portion of the bone was gone.
So far the coroner has been unable to determine the decedent's ethnicity, but investigators will attempt to identify the remains using DNA. Watson said the investigation is ongoing.
Bay City News contributed to this report.