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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Mary Kusmiss, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-5780


Berkeley, California (Wednesday, December 24, 2008) - Detectives of the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) Homicide Detail have learned the identity of the body found at 2235 Ashby Avenue. The Alameda County Coroner used dental records to confirm the identification of the remains as Taruk Joseph Ben Ali, 08/14/68. The cause of his death has not been determined pending the completion of the Coroner’s investigation.

On Monday December 15th at approximately 6:00pm, BPD patrol officers responded to a report of an argument at an apartment in a multi-unit building at 2235 Ashby Avenue. Hassan Ben Ali, 60, who was armed with a handgun, opened the apartment door, then shot himself soon after in front of the officers. He was pronounced dead at Alameda County (Highland) Hospital.

During the course of investigating the suicide, detectives got information that there was a body hidden in the apartment building. On December 17th at approximately 6:10pm, a team of BPD personnel discovered badly decomposed human remains on the first floor of 2235 Ashby Avenue.

Detectives are in the ongoing process of interviews and other investigation regarding both deaths. Although there is much speculation regarding the case, detectives say that it is not appropriate for them to speculate publicly with respect to the details of their investigation. Anyone who may have any information regarding case is encouraged to call the BPD Homicide Detail at (510) 981-5741 (office) or (510) 981-5900. (non-emergency dispatch line)

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