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Man found dead after being trapped in elevator for weeks

DENVER – (ABC 7/CNN) A missing elderly man who authorities discovered dead in an elevator at a Denver apartment complex last month may have reached out for help by pressing the elevator’s emergency button.

Isaak Komisarchik, 82, had early-onset dementia and was last seen July 5.He was reported missing, and Denver Police made a concerted effort with Komisarchik’s family to locate him. Despite their efforts, Komisarchik’s body was located in an elevator car at the Woodstream Village apartments, 10050 East Harvard Avenue, on July 31.

Tenants at the apartment complex complained of an awful smell coming from the parking garage elevator, leading to the discovery of the body.

Denver Police continue an active investigation into the man’s death, and Denver Fire officials are now revealing new details about the events leading up to Komisarchik’s death.

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.

“Something is not right, and police are going to make a determination on what that is,” Capt. Greg Pixley, of Denver Fire, said.

Pixley said the activation of the elevator’s emergency button was recorded electronically twice, although officials never received the call.

Pixley said Denver Fire was never notified that the elevator was taken out of service and it met the appropriate fire code standards for 2016 and had the appropriate permits for operation in 2017.

Tenants say the elevator wasn't working and that few people parked in the garage during summer months. If that's the case, it raises questions about why an elevator company wasn't called.

Pixley said MEI Total Elevator Solutions monitors the elevator for Woodstream Village. The company issued the following response.

"We are saddened by the tragic loss of life and extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Komisarchik's family and friends. The elevator cab where he was found is located in a parking garage that is under renovation construction and not currently in active use. We are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident with the local authorities," a Greystar Management Services representative said Thursday.

Denver Police said MEI Total Elevator Solutions received the distress call from the elevator and notified Woodstream's management. However, police say apartment workers failed to check the parking garage elevator after checking two other elevators in the building.

Police in Denver are now working to learn why Komisarchik wasn’t able to escape the elevator and why authorities weren't notified of the emergency call.

Read past reporting here.

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