2:08PM EST December 10. 2012 –
Police in London are trying to determine the identity of a man who literally fell from the sky.
The mystery started on Sept. 9 when residents of a suburban street in the Mortlake neighborhood of West London woke up on that Sunday morning to find the body of a man on the sidewalk of Portman Avenue, the Associated Press reports.
Detectives at first believed he was a murder victim. Then they concluded that the man had fallen to the ground when a jet passing overhead lowered its landing gear as it neared the runway at nearby Heathrow Airport. They believe he was a stowaway and that he was dead even before he fell to the ground.
A post mortem conducted two days after the body was found listed the cause of death as “multiple injuries,” according to the AP.
The incident has startled neighbors, who placed flowers on his body’s landing spot days later.
“I felt, what was he running away from? What made him think he could he could? And how will his family ever know? He’s a lost soul now; his father and mother are probably waiting for him to make contact,” resident Catherine Lambert told the AP.
Police said the man is believed to be an African of slight build between the ages of 20 and 30. He was wearing jeans, white sneakers and a gray sweatshirt. He had a tattoo on his left upper arm of the letters “Z” and “G” with a horizontal line through the “Z”.
The U.S. has also had its fair share of stowaways. The Federal Aviation Administration counted 86 stowaways between 1947 and 2010. Since 1996, there have been nearly five stowaway instances a year around the world.