Chef’s Death in Mall Remains Unsolved

Frank Galicia's body was found in a Westfield Centre staircase nearly one year ago, but the case is still unsolved.

A woman hugs Ariel Mittag-Degala, back turned, near a memorial outside Westfield Mall (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

The Medical Examiner’s Office has released an autopsy report analyzing the death of Frank Galicia, 28, whose body was found in a stairwell at the Westfield Centre on Market Street last August. Galicia, a chef at Nob Hill restaurant Sons & Daughters, had told his girlfriend that he was heading to the mall to buy jeans. His body was discovered the following morning by a building engineer, with a rope tied around a rail and his head.

Our sister publication, the Examiner, received a copy of the report, which states that “[Galicia] appeared to have been dragged for some distance (suggesting other person involved), but it is unclear how he came to be positioned with his mouth in the rope. The cause of death is unknown, and the manner of death is best categorized as undetermined.”

Although police initially believed Galicia had been killed, they later recanted. Six days after the body was found, spokesperson Officer Giselle Talkoff said, “At the moment, it doesn’t appear to be a homicide, but it doesn’t appear to be a natural death, either.”

The Medical Examiner Office’s report adds to the mystery of the event — no suspect has been publicly identified. Nearly one year later, Galicia’s death remains a mystery.

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