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Man missing for weeks died in elevator after emergency calls went unanswered

Man missing for weeks died in elevator after emergency calls went unanswered

First reported by the Denver Post, Denver Fire officials say they've learned Komisarchik pressed an emergency button in the elevator twice on July 6 before he died.

One reason for the tragedy may have been the fact that the parking garage where the elevator was located was closed for maintenance.

Numerous Woodstream residents complained to managers of a strong odour emanating from the garage area but nothing was done.

The investigation remains ongoing, authorities said.

An autopsy of Komisarchik has been completed, but the cause and manner of his death are still under investigation, said Steve Castro, a spokesman for the Denver medical examiner.

"We are saddened by the tragic loss of life and extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Komisarchik's family and friends", a spokesperson for the apartment complex's management company said. Pixley said it's hard to determine a cause of death when a body is badly decomposed. Andrews declined to comment about the complaints.

Komisarchik had entered the elevator on July 5 when it became stuck. She added that Komisarchik would sometimes get disoriented.

An 82-year-old man died after being stuck inside a Denver elevator for almost a month. The elevator cab where he was found is located in a parking garage that is under renovation construction and not now in active use.

Komisarchik's disappearance prompted the distribution of missing persons posters a search of five ponds near the apartment complex by firefighters to try to find him. All elevators are required to possess an emergency signaling device labeled "Alarm" next to the floor buttons and operating panel.

In some cases the alarms are connected to the Denver Fire Department or an elevator monitoring company, which is responsible for investigating an emergency call.

Crews last conducted a routine inspection of the elevator in December 2016 and found it to be in good working order, Denver Fire Department spokesman Capt. Greg Pixley told CNN. A phone or intercom system labeled "Help" is also mandatory within elevators.

Elevators are regularly inspected by the fire department.

When police checked, two elevator calls from the same elevator vehicle where Komisarchik was found were electronically logged at 9:09 a.m. and 9:17 a.m. on July 6, the morning after he disappeared. Between the morning of July 6 and August 2, Komisarchik is believed to have died after he was unable to escape an elevator, possibly because of dementia. Apartment complex staffers checked two elevators, but not the one containing Komisarchik.

When a Denver firefighter responded, the elevator doors were open.


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