Missing body recovered at Iowa apartment building site

Harris Marley

Global Courant

The body of 42-year-old Iowa resident Branden Colvin Sr. was found days after an apartment building collapsed in Davenport, Iowa. Colvin Sr. was one of three bodies that remained missing after the tragedy. Ryan Hitchcock, 51, and Daniel Prien, 60, remain missing. Colvin Sr. is the first person determined to be dead after the collapse.

The body of one of three men missing after the partial collapse of an apartment building in Davenport, Iowa, has been found, a city official confirmed Sunday.

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

Other details were not immediately released. Prien’s daughter, Nancy Prien Frezza, told The Associated Press she has not received any updates on the search for her father.

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


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

The remains of the six-story apartment 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.

Flowers and signs have been placed at the site of a partially collapsed apartment building in Davenport, Iowa, on May 31, 2023. The body of a missing man has been found. Two people are still missing. (AP photo/Erin Hooley)

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

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


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“We are doing our best to balance construction conditions and the safety of our emergency responders,” Fire Chief Mike Carlsten told reporters during a briefing following the collapse. He said circumstances have forced a response that could take “days and weeks” rather than what ideally would have been minutes or hours.

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

Work to tear down the building progressed as questions were raised about why neither the owner nor city officials warned residents of potential danger, even after a structural engineer’s report just days before the collapse indicated that a wall of the century-old building was at hand. crumbling.

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

Tenants have also complained to the city in recent years about a variety of issues they say were ignored by property managers, including no heating or hot water for weeks or even months, as well as mold and water leaking from ceilings and toilets. While city officials attempted to address some complaints and issued eviction notices to individual apartments, a wider evacuation was never ordered, the records show.


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

Andrew Wold, the owner of the building, released a statement on May 30 saying “our thoughts and prayers are with our tenants.” He has not made a statement since then and attempts to reach 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.

Missing body recovered at Iowa apartment building site

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