DAVENPORT, Iowa — The body of one of the three men who had disappeared after partial surgery apartment building collapse in Davenport, Iowa, was found, a city official confirmed Sunday.
Branden Colvin Sr.’s body was recovered Saturday, city spokeswoman Sarah Ott said. Two other men, Ryan Hitchcock, 51, and Daniel Prien, 60, remain unaccounted for. Colvin, 42, is the first person confirmed to have died in the collapse.
No other details were immediately released.
The times of the four cities reported that Colvin’s son, Branden Colvin Jr., graduated from high school on Saturday. He and other family members had been at the collapse site almost constantly, hoping for a miracle.
The discovery of Colvin’s body came a day after authorities announced that the The search for survivors was over.and attention turned to shoring up the structure so that recovery efforts 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 authorities said posed a risk to rescuers trying to search for survivors.
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 searching the building was extremely dangerous, moving constantly and risking further collapse, putting rescuers at great risk. An Iowa task force completed the search for survivors Thursday and began to focus on shoring up the structure for recovery efforts.
“We are doing the best we can to balance the conditions of the building and the safety of our first responders,” Fire Chief Mike Carlsten told reporters during a briefing after the collapse. He said conditions have forced a response that may take «days and weeks» rather than what ideally would have been minutes or hours.
Mayor Mike Matson has said the pile of rubble «could be a resting place for some of the missing.»
Work to tear down the building was advancing amid questions about why neither the owner nor city officials warned residents of the potential danger, even after a structural engineer’s report issued just days before the collapse indicated that a wall of the century-old building was in imminent risk of collapse. falling apart
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 number of issues they say were 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 bathrooms. While city officials tried to address some complaints and issued orders to vacate individual apartments, a broader evacuation was never ordered, records show.
Current and former residents told The Associated Press about interior cracks in the wall that eventually collapsed and were reported to building management.
Andrew Wold, the owner of the building, issued a statement dated May 30 saying that «our thoughts and prayers are with our tenants.» He has not commented since, and efforts to contact him, his company and a man believed to be his attorney have been unsuccessful.
County records show Davenport Hotel LLC acquired the building in a 2021 deal for $4.2 million.