Homeless woman found dead in downtown Berkeley tent on Thursday

A homeless woman in her 40s was found dead at Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way on Thursday. Photo: Citizen reporter

Update, Monday, Oct. 15, 1:30 p.m. The woman who was found dead in a tent in downtown Berkeley earlier this month was named Michelle and was “about 40,” said the Alameda County coroner’s office.

A representative from the office said the cause and manner of death are still under investigation, and no additional biographical information, including her last name, is available yet.

According to someone who knew her, Michelle had recently moved to the southeastern corner of Dwight Way and Shattuck Avenue from other sites in Downtown Berkeley.

A small memorial display is set up on the corner, near the tent that remains at the site. A handwritten cardboard sign says, “I miss holding you and I miss that sunshine smile.”


A small memorial display is set up at Dwight Way and Blake Street. Photo: Natalie Orenstein

Update, Oct. 4, 11:42 a.m. Shattuck Avenue is now open from Dwight Way to Blake Street, police reported just before 11:40 a.m.

Original story, Oct. 4, 10:28 a.m. A woman who was living in a tent on Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way was found dead Thursday morning, police said.

The Berkeley Police Department responded to a call about an “unattended death” at 6:08 a.m., said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesman.

The woman was in her late 40s, said Lt. Peter Hong.

“We cannot determine cause of death pending a complete autopsy,” Hong said in an email to Berkeleyside. “Preliminary information does not suggest foul play; however, investigators are still interviewing people and processing the scene.”

According to a Nixle alert sent out at 9 a.m., northbound lanes on Shattuck will be closed between Dwight and Blake for the “next few hours.” As of 10 a.m. the lanes were still closed, Hong said.

A homeless woman in her 40s was found dead at Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way on Thursday. Photo: Citizen reporter

“At some point the coroner’s office is going to collect the deceased,” White said.


A reader reported a large police presence around the area shortly before 9 a.m., where the corner of Shattuck and Dwight, including two tents, was completely blocked off with caution tape.