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Boxes found — and mystery solved at Emanuel’s home

Boxes containing some belongings Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel his family were found crawl space their home Ravenswood community.

Boxes containing some of the belongings of Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel and his family were found in a crawl space of their home in the Ravenswood community.

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Updated: December 16, 2010 9:35PM

The mayoral-race mystery of where candidate Rahm Emanuel stored boxes of personal items has been solved.

Attorneys for Emanuel visited the house he owns in Ravenswood at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, located the much-discussed “crawl space,” looked inside and found the valuable items Emanuel had maintained he had stored there. They have argued the fact they left the items there while Emanuel went to Washington D.C. to work as President Obama’s chief of staff shows he always planned to return to Chicago — and therefore should be eligible to run for mayor.

Attorney Dana S. Douglas brought photos of the boxes — which include his wife’s wedding dress and other sentimental items — to Emanuel’s ongoing residency hearing just 80 minutes after taking the pictures Wednesday, and she passed copies of the photos around to all the objectors who claim Emanuel is not a bona fide resident of Chicago.

Lori Halpin, a tenant in Emanuel’s home, had testified Wednesday that she was unaware of the crawl space and didn’t think Emanuel had left anything at the house. Even though she was the one who let the attorneys and a neighbor into the house Thursday, some of those challenging Emanuel’s residency objected to the photos being admitted into evidence.

“I believe that these photographs are phony and faked. Those could have been taken in my house,” said objector Zakiyyah Muhammad.

Douglas said the inspection process was quite simple: “We rang the doorbell. Mrs. Halpin invited us in. Her husband and their lawyer were there. They escorted us down into the basement. We looked for the storage area described by Mr. Emanuel. We took down the shelves, opened the storage area and took some photos.”

Objector Jeffrey Joseph Black said he thought he saw a photo of Obama in one of the photos taken Thursday “all cued up and waiting there” — which he thought was suspicious.

Someone shouted, “They found Obama in the crawlspace?”

“We may be disclosing the secret undisclosed location that Vice-President Dick Cheney and President Obama use … ” hearing officer Joe Morris quipped.

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