What's causing the strange odor people are smelling at the memorial behind Walmart?

Walmart memorial odor

EL PASO, Texas - There is a smell that emanates from the general area where the Walmart memorial exists.

People that visit have made mention to authorities of a pungent odor. The smell has been described as rotting meat or biodegradable material.

Experts at the El Paso Health Department who have worked with Walmart in the cleaning and inspection process of the building concluded it was not a threat to the public.

Speculation of what it may be ranged from human remains thought to be still in the building to meats and produce that may have been left in the display cases.

Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia dispelled these rumors to ABC-7 in a statement from the company.

"The air conditioning system and cold storage units including freezers and coolers, have remained intact and running while the store has been closed. Garcia said.

The one possibility that remains on the minds of El Pasoans are the flowers.

In 100-degree temperatures the asphalt can get even hotter. Flowers laid on the blacktop mixed in with standing water and humidity decay quicker.

That decay can also emit a foul smell.

Liz Marquez of Flowers by Liz spoke to ABC-7 saying, "Right now we are dealing with, heat, the sun, standing water, the rain and a lot of the flowers are still sitting in that as well.  They start the process of decaying. When they start decaying and start rotting then the odor starts to form from there."

The El Paso Health Department commends the job Walmart has done in properly and meticulously cleaning the store.

Eddie Davilia with the department said in a statement to ABC-7, Walmart has been disposing of all food from inside the store.  Even throwing out products that were still shelf safe just to be extra careful. Clean, professional, a real awesome job.

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