The remains of a man who had been missing for over a month were discovered in a Nebraska chimney last week. The deceased, identified as 29-year-old Zachariah Andrews, had an arrest warrant issued against him two weeks after his disappearance, according to local law enforcement.
Andrews’ remains were found on October 19 by a maintenance worker who was investigating a strange smell emanating from the chimney of an apartment building in Norfolk, a city located 110 miles northwest of Omaha. The worker found what seemed to be human shoes hanging from the chimney shaft, as reported by the Norfolk Daily News.
Andrews was last seen alive on September 15, but his disappearance was not reported until 19 days later. The day following his last sighting, a resident of the apartment building reported hearing mysterious cries for help. The resident claimed the cries seemed to be coming from the first floor of the building.
Upon arrival, the police found the cries had ceased. They conducted a search of the property and interviewed several residents, none of whom had heard the cries for help. The source of the cries was not found, and it appears that Andrews was left to die in the chimney.
Andrews was officially reported missing on October 3, the same day the Madison County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for his arrest on seven counts of violating a protection order. In the months leading up to his disappearance, Andrews had repeatedly posted on his Facebook page, attempting to contact an unidentified woman. His friends had cautioned him to let her go, with one advising him to remember what he had learned in treatment.
In one of his posts, Andrews claimed that the police had intercepted his “love letters” to the woman and told him his aspirations of being with her were unrealistic. Andrews had also been charged in 2018 for allegedly trying to lure a 12-year-old girl who was selling a swimsuit on Facebook. He had also been charged with resisting arrest by kicking police officers when they tried to arrest him for assaulting another man in April of the previous year.
While Andrews was missing, a parking warning was placed on his car, which was parked directly in front of the apartment building where he was trapped. The police believe Andrews’ death was accidental, but the investigation is ongoing.