NORFOLK, Neb. – The body of a missing man who also had a warrant issued for his arrest was found inside a Nebraska chimney last week. The bizarre discovery came more than a month after mysterious screams for help were heard from within the apartment building but could not be pinpointed, according to reports.
Norfolk Police said on Wednesday the body of Zachariah Andrews, 29, was recovered Oct. 19 when a maintenance worker was investigating a foul odor originating from the chimney of an apartment, the Norfolk Daily News reported.
The employee discovered “what appeared to be a human shoe while investigating the source of a foul odor,” police told the news outlet.
The body was soon recovered and later identified as Andrews. He was last seen alive Sept. 15, but wasn’t reported missing until Oct. 3, the same day the Madison County Sheriff’s Office obtained a warrant for his arrest charging seven counts of violating a protection order.
On Sept. 16 at 3:17 p.m., the day after Andrews was last seen alive, Norfolk police received a call from a resident inside the apartment building saying he heard mysterious screams.
“The resident reported that he heard a man yelling for help and that it appeared to be coming from the first floor,” police said in a news release.
“Two officers responded and had contact with the reporting party at his apartment,” law enforcement authorities continued. “The resident stated that there was yelling about three to four minutes before officers arrived, but he could not hear it anymore. The reporter was instructed to call back if he heard it again. The responding officers also had contact with three additional residents, including the apartment beneath the reporting party, and no other person heard the yelling. There was a loud television playing in an apartment that officers checked with.”
The body of Zachariah Andrews was recovered from inside a chimney at an apartment building in Nebraska. (Courtesy photo via Norfolk Daily News)
Over the last several months, Andrews repeatedly posted on his Facebook page odd messages trying to reach an unnamed woman, according to the New York Post.
Several friends warned him to let her go. One person cautioned him to remember what he learned “in treatment.”
In one post, Andrews said law enforcement authorities raided his “love letters” to the woman before telling him his goals of being with her “weren’t realistic.”
“I kinda wanna prove them wrong tho,” he wrote in May.
In a 2022 case, Andrews was charged with resisting arrest when he kicked police officers as they tried to take him into custody for assaulting another man in April.
In a 2018 case, Andrews attempted to entice a 12-year-old girl who was selling a swimsuit on Facebook. In a text conversation, he reportedly asked the girl to visit his place to have a drink and “see what happens,” along with more sexual innuendo, according to Siouxland Proud.
After Andrews was reported missing, a parking warning was placed on his car, which was parked directly in front of the apartment building that became his tomb.
Police are investigating to determine how and why Andrews became wedged in the chimney.
Norfolk is a city approximately 110 miles northwest of Omaha.