Was a mysterious mummified Minneapolis monkey discovered inside Dayton's?

Facebook: Old Minneapolis

Facebook: Old Minneapolis

Update: The monkey remains are real! The corpse was discovered inside a seventh floor air duct, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Biz Journal confirms

On Sunday, "The Mystery of the Mummified Minneapolis Monkey" captivated followers of the popular Facebook group Old Minneapolis.

Here's how the story goes:

Downtown Minneapolis' former Dayton's department store is currently undergoing a $190 million renovation. Inside the structure, parts of which date back to 1902, an unknown person claims to have recently discovered and photographed a mummified monkey that was entombed in the ceiling. Adam Peterson -- a trusted Old Minneapolis contributor who’s working on the remodeling project -- submitted the apparent photographic evidence (see above). The resulting Facebook post has been shared more than 1,000 times.

"The contributor didn't give us a lot of detail," Old Minneapolis admin Alan Freed told Fox 9. "[He] didn't say where it was found in the building, but through all the comments and replies flowing in since, we found that the area the monkey was found was a sublevel."

Seeking confirmation, Fox 9 reached out to the construction company, presumably Minneapolis-based Gardner Builders, but didn't hear back.

Online sleuths and speculators were magnetized to the Mystery of the Mummified Minneapolis Monkey.

"Does anyone know how a monkey would have ended up in the rafters of an urban department store and remain there undisturbed for probably decades?" the Old Minneapolis post asks. "We have some theories, but they are nothing more than speculation. Perhaps some of you Dayton's veterans know something about this? We'd love to solve."

Many intriguing theories have emerged.

One Facebook user, claiming to be a former Target/Dayton's employee, shared a story he heard from a co-worker about a monkey that escaped from an eighth-floor pet store in the '60s. The runaway monkey met its demise when it encountered an exhaust blade in the air ducts, or so the story goes. That version of events satisfied nearly 200 users, including the Old Minneapolis team, who declared the mystery solved.

Or, perhaps, the current mayor of Robbinsdale holds the answers. Regan Murphy says his father stole the monkey, watched it shit everywhere, and then returned it to Dayton's, letting it run wild in the store.

Elsewhere, a parody Twitter account has even emerged:

Have your own explanation for the Mystery of the Mummified Minneapolis Monkey? We'd love to hear it in the comments. 

The "Dayton's Project" -- an eventual mix of office space, retail, and restaurants -- is expected to debut on Nicollet Mall by next summer. Several "delightful surprises" have been unearthed during the construction process, the Downtown Journal reports, including a hidden marble fountain and unboxed Easter eggs.