Mystery of Dayton's mummified monkey baffles Facebook

For the last year, construction crews have been working hard to revamp the old Dayton's department store, but the bones of the building that were built back in 1902 may still hold some skeletons from years gone by.

Over the weekend, someone who claimed to be working on the Dayton's project, posted a picture of what appears to the mummified remains of a monkey on the Old Minneapolis Facebook page. The person said the remains were found in a ceiling at the old department store and asked if anyone knew how or why monkeys would be hanging out there.

"The contributor didn't give us a lot of detail,” said Alan Freed, one of the administrators for the Old Minneapolis page. “Didn't say where it was found in the building, but through all the comments and replies flowing in since, we found that the area the monkey was found was a sublevel." 

How a mummified monkey could end up in the iconic department store has inspired a cascade of comments with theories of their own. One commenter posted a Dayton's ad from 1963 of an exotic pet sale, which included two kinds of monkeys. In another comment, a former Target employee recalled a maintenance man, who worked at Dayton's for 50 years, telling him about a monkey that escaped into the ductwork from a pet shop on the seventh or eighth floor. It met its untimely end at the hands of a blade from an exhaust fan.

"If you look at the photo,” said Freed. “There is a definite injury to the body. There is a cut to the body that isn't natural." 

The mystery of the mummified Minneapolis monkey may never be solved, but hopefully it won't throw a wrench into plans to give the iconic building some new life.

"They are finding so many interesting things as they get into the bones of that building, but who would ever have thought you would come across a dead monkey," said Freed.

Fox 9 reached to the construction company for comment on our story, but never heard back.

The Dayton's project is scheduled to open to the public in the summer of next year. It will be an office and retail complex with a food hall in the basement.