Human remains found in old Paterson police headquarters

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Anthony Johnson has more from Paterson.

Police in Paterson are investigating Tuesday after a decomposed body was found in the old police department headquarters.

The grisly discovery was made found around 5 p.m. Monday at 111 Washington Street.

The police station was abandoned after a major fire back in 1980 and has been vacant and boarded up ever since, but the building was recently sold to a developer who wants to put in some modern storefront businesses.

They were taking measurements inside the building and cut open a cell door, only to find a badly decomposing body that authorities believe has been there for as long as 10 years.

The medical examiner is trying to determine the cause of death, as well as the age, sex and identity of the victim. But police sources say there are no obvious signs of trauma on the skeletal remains, and there is no way to tell if victim was shot, stabbed, beaten or died of natural causes.

The building had been sealed, but officials say there were ways to crawl or climb inside.

The police station was built in 1918 in the federal style and is similar to many of the police precincts in New York City. The building is owned by the Greenbaum's Funiture Company, which has been next door since 1983.

One of the most famous people to pass through the building was boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who was wrongfully arrested for a triple murder in Paterson in 1966. In fact, some of the props used in the 1999 movie "The Hurricane" starring Denzel Washington were taken directly from the building.

Anyone with any information about the case is asked to call 973-321-1120.
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