Body of missing man found in chimney one month after screams for help were heard

In what police think may have been an accidental death, the body of a missing 29-year-old was found in a chimney in Nebraska.

The chilling discovery was made by a maintenance worker and comes weeks after police were called to investigate screams for help coming from inside the building in Norfolk.

The investigation into the death of Zachariah Andrews is ongoing, according to Police Capt. Michael Bauer after the Norfolk Police Division identified the body in the chimney on Oct. 19.

Andrews was “identified by scars, marks, tattoos, and an identification card” found on him, according to a police press release Wednesday.

“On September 16, 2023, at 3:17 p.m., Norfolk Police received a call from a resident of 1414 South 3rd Street,” the press release read.

“The resident reported that he heard a man yelling for help and that it appeared to be coming from the first floor. Two officers responded and had contact with the reporting party at his apartment,” it continued.

Police were told that the yelling had been ongoing “about three to four minutes before officers arrived,” but evidently had stopped by the time police came to check it out. The person reporting the yelling was told to call officers if he heard the sounds again, but there were no further calls made and it is presumed Andrews remained stuck in the chimney until he was found more than a month later.

“The responding officers also had contact with three additional residents, including the apartment beneath the reporting party, and no other person heard the yelling. There was a loud television playing in an apartment that officers checked with,” the press release noted.

While Andrews remained unfound, a parking warrant was placed on his car which was parked outside of the building where he was later found. He was reportedly last seen around noon on September 15th  in the 1200 block of West Norfolk Avenue.

“A missing persons report was taken on October 3, 2023, and he was entered into the national database of missing persons,” police said.

But it was a maintenance worker who came across a shoe while investigating a foul odor from the chimney, according to the Norfolk Daily News.

Andrews was issued a warrant for his arrest by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office on seven counts of violating a protection order – this happened on the same day he was listed as a missing person.


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