Doyle King got a surprise Monday afternoon when he dug his shovel into a debris pile inside a vacant, fire-damaged house in central Kansas City.
As he pulled out the shovel, King saw a human skull.
King stepped back and ordered the rest of the crew out of the house in the 5400 block of Wabash Avenue before calling 911.
“I almost threw up,” King said later. “It was a gruesome sight.”
Kansas City police are investigating the discovery.
Police classified the situation as a death investigation and said they had not determined the person’s sex or cause of death. The body is believed to be that of an adult, police said.
King said it was inside a closet in a fire-damaged portion of the house.
The workers were cleaning the house as part of a revitalization effort by Neighborhoods United.
Bill Kimble, who heads Neighborhoods United, said the out-of-town owner had recently donated the house to his group.
Kimble said he didn’t know how long the house had been vacant.
A fire had damaged the house in January, police said.