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Workers discover mummified monkey in old Dayton's

Old Minneapolis, a historic site, posted a photo of the monkey on its Facebook page and solicited answers.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The mystery behind that mummified monkey may have been solved.

Workers renovating the old Dayton's department store in downtown Minneapolis discovered the mummified remains of a monkey last week.

A spokeswoman for The Dayton's Project, an office, retail and restaurant complex going into the century-old building, said workers found the carcass in an air duct on the seventh floor.

Cailin Rogers said developers don't know where the monkey came from or how it ended up in the air duct.

Old Minneapolis, a historic site, posted a photo of the monkey on its Facebook page and solicited answers.

"I think within 12 hours we reached over 100,000 people and it's been growing ever since. So yeah, it's taken on a life of its own even though the monkey is long dead," said Alan Freed, one of the site's co-administrators.

Freed said the likely solution came from a poster who said a longtime Dayton's employee told him a monkey had escaped from an eighth-floor pet store into the air conditioning ductwork in the 1960s.

The timeline matches another story brought forward by Robbinsdale Mayor Regan Murphy. After his dad, Larry Murphy, died in 2001, Larry's best friend Tom Netka told him about the time he and his dad stole a monkey from Dayton's.

"They were probably 14 or 15, skipped school, took a bus downtown and ended up taking this monkey that they found in the department store. They brought it home, either wrapped up in a jacket or backpack, and didn't know what to do with it so they put it in my dad's friend's bedroom," Murphy said. "Obviously the monkey tore up the room, left feces all over and destroyed the room. His mom found out and said... 'Get the monkey out of here.' So they took the monkey back on the bus, went downtown, brought it back to the store and went inside and just kind of let it go."

"The timeline makes sense," said Freed. "If it's not true, I'd be very surprised."

Murphy said he and his family always wondered if it really happened and if it did, whatever happened to the monkey.

Murphy said, "It's been fun because it's been a long time since we really thought about the story and Tom and my dad have both passed away so it's kind of fun to reminisce again about all the shenanigans that they got into."

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