DETROIT – It took three calls to Detroit authorities over two days before they recovered the body of a man frozen in ice in the elevator shaft of a vacant warehouse, a newspaper reported Thursday.
A reporter for The Detroit News said it got a tip and found the body Tuesday in a former Detroit Public Schools warehouse.
The reporter called 911 Tuesday and told a female operator about the body, the newspaper said. It said a man returned the call to the newsroom about 20 minutes later and said the body would be retrieved.
But the next day, the News said the body was still trapped in the ice. The reporter made two more calls to 911, one of which was disconnected, and a fire department employee arranged to meet the reporter and to get the body, the paper said.
Authorities used saws to extricate the body Wednesday afternoon, the Detroit Free Press and WDIV-TV said. Investigators said they think the body was there for several months.
It was taken to the Wayne County medical examiner's office. The man's name and the cause of his death weren't known.
The warehouse once was the Detroit schools' main storehouse for books and supplies. A 1987 fire caused extensive damage. It also once was part of Detroit's main post office.
The building is owned by Manuel Maroun, who also owns the nearby vacant Michigan Central Depot, an 17-story train station and office tower built in 1913 and vacant since 1988. He also owns the Ambassador Bridge that links Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
Meanwhile, a 67-year-old man was found frozen in his truck outside his Detroit-area home. Daniel Hayes Jr.'s body was found Tuesday by men looking for scrap metal. He was sitting in the front seat of his truck with the door open, The Ann Arbor News reported.
Police say Hayes was covered with snow but may have died from a heart attack or other cause and may have been dead for two weeks. There were no signs of foul play.
He apparently had been living in his truck; police said his house had no heat or water.
His two dogs were found starved to death in their nearby dog house.