On Wednesday morning, a man was found dead at City Hall, lying 13 feet below ground level just outside the building's basement windows.
Police say that contract workers for the city, working in the basement to check the irrigation system, spotted the body around 10:20 a.m. They believe that the man may have fallen from a ledge near the front steps of City Hall and hit his head on the concrete, the only visible injury on first look.
He looked to be in his seventies, they said, possibly Hispanic, and possibly homeless. Officers with the Homeless Outreach Team said they recognized him from downtown, and the name on a piece of paper found in the man's pocket matches a name in their database.
"He might've been sleeping, he might've fell — we don't know," said Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon. "No one we've heard from [inside City Hall] saw it happen."
Police interviewed one City Hall employee who was at his desk in the basement around 7 a.m. and didn't hear any commotion. Forensic investigators believe that the man has been dead for up to 12 hours.