Missing man found dead in chimney a month after tenant heard cries for help, NE cops say

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A 29-year-old man missing for more than a month has been found dead inside the chimney of a Nebraska apartment building, according to police.

The remains were identified as Zachariah A. Andrews, of Norfolk, the Norfolk Police Division said in an Oct. 25 news release.

Andrews was last seen alive on Sept. 15, the release said. The next day, an apartment resident reported hearing cries for help, a man’s voice calling out from below, police said.

The muffled pleas stopped about four minutes before officers arrived to investigate, according to the release. Officers spoke with other tenants but none had heard any yelling, police said.

They also checked with the apartment directly below the caller, investigators said. A TV was playing loudly and the resident reported no screams for help.

Andrews’ car began collecting parking citations and on Oct. 3, he was entered into a nationwide missing persons database, police said.

A maintenance worker discovered Andrews’ body on Oct. 19, after smashing through a basement wall while investigating the source of a foul odor and dripping blood, McClatchy News reported.

Investigators identified the body by “scars, marks, tattoos, and an identification card found with the victim,” the release said.

“Norfolk Police have had regular contact with Zachariah’s family since the beginning of the investigation,” police said. “This is an ongoing investigation and additional information will be released as it becomes available.”

Norfolk is roughly 90 miles northwest of Omaha.

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