Body of missing man found at site of Iowa apartment collapse; two others still missing

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The body of one of three men missing after a building partially collapsed in Davenport, Iowa, has been found, a city official confirmed Sunday.

The body of Branden Colvin Sr. was found on Saturday, city spokeswoman Sarah Ott said. Two other men, Ryan Hitchcock, 51, and Daniel Prien, 60, are still missing. Colvin, 42, is the first person confirmed to have died in the collapse.

No other details were immediately released.

The Quad-City Times reported that Colvin’s son, Branden Colvin Jr., graduated from high school on Saturday. He and other family members were almost constantly at the site of the collapse, hoping for a miracle.

The discovery of Colvin’s body came a day after authorities announced the search for survivors had been completed, with attention turned to consolidating the structure so recovery efforts could begin.

The remains of the six-story building were in constant motion for the first 24 to 36 hours after it collapsed on May 28, which officials said posed a risk to rescuers trying to search for survivors.

City officials had earlier said Colvin, Hitchcock and Prien had “a high probability of being home at the time of the collapse.”

Authorities said searching the building was extremely dangerous – and that it was constantly moving and at risk of further collapse, putting rescuers in grave danger. An Iowa task force completed a search for survivors on Thursday and began focusing on building structure for recovery efforts.

“We are doing our best to balance building conditions and the safety of our responders,” Fire Chief Mike Carlsten told reporters during a post-collapse briefing. He said the conditions have forced a response that can take “days and weeks” instead of what would ideally have been minutes or hours.

Mayor Mike Matson said the pile of debris “could be a resting place for some of the missing.”

Work to destroy the building progressed amid questions why neither the owner nor city officials warned residents of potential danger, even after a structural engineer’s report was released days later. prior to the collapse indicated that a wall of the century-old building was at imminent risk of crumbling.

Documents released by the city show that city officials and the building’s owner were warned for months that parts of the building were unstable.

Tenants have also complained to the city in recent years about a host of issues they say have been ignored by property managers, including no heat or hot water for weeks or even months, as well as mold and water leaks from ceilings and toilets. While city officials tried to address some complaints and ordered the evacuation of individual apartments, a broader evacuation was never ordered, records show.

Current and former residents spoke to The Associated Press about interior cracks on the wall that eventually collapsed and were reported to building management.

Andrew Wold, the owner of the building, released a statement dated May 30 stating that “our thoughts and prayers are with our tenants.” He has made no statement since then, and efforts to contact him, his company and a man believed to be his lawyer have been unsuccessful.

County records show Davenport Hotel LLC acquired the building in a 2021 deal worth $4.2 million.

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