MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Another safe has been found on the Miami Beach property where the mansion of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar once stood.
Using an excavator, construction worker Miguel Mato found the safe hidden inside the concrete foundation. It was the last wall to be knocked down.
The combination locked safe stands two feet by two feet and weighs hundreds of pounds.
“I pulled the wall down, and when the wall fell, it’s actually like a hollow floor. And when the wall fell on the floor and it kind of broke into it and then I saw it. I saw the safe,” Mato told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
At first, the property owner, Christian de Berdouare didn’t believe it.
“I told the owner, look there’s a safe. And he thought I was messing with him, and I said no there’s a safe for real,” said Mato.
On Tuesday, January 19th, the pink waterfront mansion in Miami Beach was demolished. At the time Berdouare, who founded Chicken Kitchen, and his wife, Jennifer Valoppi, said a floor safe, which was seen by men they had hired to do some work on the property, had vanished.
The construction worker who found it said it was not visible from underneath or ground level.
De Berdouare plans to take it to a security expert to be opened.
Escobar, nicknamed “El Patrón” — The Boss — bought the property in March 1980 for $762,500, according to Miami-Dade County public records. The name Pablo Escobar is listed in a document transferring ownership of the property.
Escobar’s cocaine cartel fueled murderous drug wars in South Florida that left the streets littered with competing, dead dealers.
The U.S. government seized the property in 1987 and in 1990 it was acquired by a private owner. The house, at 5860 North Bay Road, had four bedrooms, six bathrooms, a pool and garage. It sat vacant for years after a fire heavily damaged it.
While it’s unclear whether Escobar ever spent any time in Miami Beach, his men likely used the property as a hideout and landing point for tons of cocaine.
Holes punched in the walls indicate that someone may have been searching for valuable objects left behind by the drug traffickers, according to the men hired by the couple to go through the home to look for traces from Escobar’s days.
While indicted numerous times, Escobar was never extradited from Colombia. In 1993, he was hunted down in a jungle and killed by the Colombian army.