Investigation underway after torso found in fish tank in San Francisco

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Photo: Crime scene on Clara Street after body discovered in fish tank

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) Police are awaiting an autopsy report on a human torso that was found earlier this month inside a fish tank at the home of a San Francisco man reported missing, police said Tuesday.

 In late July, family members and neighbors of Brian Egg, 65, contacted police after they said they hadn't seen him in weeks.

After that, officers responded to his home, located in the 200 block of Clara Street, to conduct a welfare check but, when their knocks went unanswered, officers determined there was nothing suspicious at the scene.

On Aug. 7, Egg's sister called police to make a missing person report and officers once more responded to his home. Again, no one answered the door and officers found nothing suspicious.

Today, Cmdr. Greg McEachern said that a voicemail initially left on Egg's phone indicated that he was out of town.

On Aug. 14, concerned neighbors called police to report that a suspicious person was seen outside Egg's home, along with a crime scene cleaning truck. Officers quickly responded and detained the person and were able to enter the residence.

Once inside, officers became suspicious because of the cleaning products being used and suspicious odors were detected inside the residence.

The following day, on Aug. 15, SFPD Homicide Detail investigators took over the case and obtained a warrant to search the home. With help from cadaver dogs, investigators searched the home over a four-day period, police said.

On Aug. 17, investigators located a human torso inside a fish tank in a concealed part of the home.

The medical examiner's office has taken the remains and are attempting to determine who the torso belonged too and exactly how the person died.

When asked why police did not enter the home during the two previous welfare checks, McEachern said, "We don't just break down doors every time someone reports that someone is missing... Information obtained didn't lead us to believe there were any suspicious circumstances."

Investigators have been able to identify two people of interest in case.

Robert McCaffrey, 52, of San Francisco and Lance Silva, 39, also of San Francisco were initially arrested on suspicion of homicide, fraud, theft, identity theft and elder abuse. The case, however, is not being pursued by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office for the time being, pending further investigation.

Silva is currently in custody in Alameda County on suspicion of a probation violation. According to jail records, he was booked Monday.

As police await the completion of the autopsy, the case remains under investigation.

They're asking anyone with information about Egg or any businesses who may have been contacted by someone pretending to be Egg, or anyone who may have been helped with financial transactions related to Egg to call police at their anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to text a tip to TIP411 with "SFPD" at the beginning of the message.

San Francisco Chronicle sources say police have arrested a man in connection with the missing person case. 

San Francisco Police released the following statement, "We have an ongoing missing person investigation. We have recovered remains during the investigation and we are awaiting the autopsy report. An open and active investigation continues regarding the missing person."

Read the full report from the Chronicle here.