Though originally investigated as a homicide, the death of 28-year-old San Francisco chef Frank Galicia has been reclassified as merely "suspicious." SFPD announced the reclassification yesterday, though KRON 4 reports that the cause of Galicia's death is still unclear according to the medical examiner and detectives.
“At the moment, it doesn’t appear to be a homicide, but it doesn’t appear to be a natural death either,” said police spokesperson Officer Giselle Talkoff.
Galicia, who was a line cook at the celebrated high-end restaurant Sons & Daughters, hailed from Los Angeles. His body was discovered near the Jessie Street entrance to the Westfield Centre. A GoFundMe.com page to raise funds for his family during this difficult time has been created by Sons & Daughters chef-owner Teague Moriarty.
"Frank was a free spirit; his persona was very laid back," his brother, Louis Galicia, tells Moriarty. "He just went with the flow; he never had any beef or disgruntled situation with anyone."
Galicia's girlfriend, Ariel Mittag-Degala, told ABC 7 this week that Galicia had gone to the mall to buy a pair of jeans, and she didn't hear from him after that. Further, Galicia's brother investigated the stairwell where the body was found, and discovered that a surveillance camera had been spraypainted over with red paint.
Inside the stairwell where Frank Galicia's body was found - a surveillance camera covered in spray paint pic.twitter.com/cJVufnmZCJ— Melanie Woodrow (@MelanieWoodrow) August 15, 2016
While the case isn't being investigated as a homicide, it may yet have been one, with Officer Talkoff telling the Chronicle the investigation "doesn’t necessarily totally rule [homicide] out.”
As of January, that stretch of Market Street between Fourth and Fifth was hailed as the city's most crime-ridden, generating the more crime reports than any other block in San Francisco. That didn't simply indicate that it was dangerous, as many crimes included petty theft. But still, "The location makes it easier to commit crimes,” Berkeley criminologist Barry Krisberg said. “You can get there on public transit easily; you can get away pretty quickly; the large crowds permit a level of anonymity where property crimes flourish; and the victims are preoccupied, they’re shopping, they’re not worried about protecting their valuables.”