Image: Dead body frozen in ice
Max Ortiz  /  The Detroit News via AP
A dead body was found frozen in an elevator shaft in a former Detroit Public Schools warehouse on Wednesday. Investigators said they think the body had been there for several months.
updated 1/29/2009 2:04:44 PM ET 2009-01-29T19:04:44

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 emergency services 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 the emergency services, one of which was disconnected, and a fire department employee arranged to meet the reporter and to get the body, the paper said.

Ice cut with a saw
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. The man's name and the cause of his death were unknown.

Separately, a 67-year-old man was found frozen and covered in snow 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 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.

Elsewhere in the United States a woman froze to death in a remote cabin in Montana. Her common-law husband, suffering from hypothermia and starving, was found propped up against her body, with an array of weapons spread in a half circle in front of him, authorities said.

Mickey Charlene Davis, 67, had probably been dead for about two weeks when authorities reached the cabin Jan. 13, Powell County Sheriff Scott Howard said.

The man, 44-year-old Jack McWhorter, had only a few bouillon cubes in his pocket, Howard said. Their two cats and two of their three dogs were also dead.

"They'd been in there for months, and they just flat ran out of food," Howard said. "They didn't have good clothing, they didn't have any firewood cut, and no way to even start a fire."

Arrived from Oklahoma
Howard said McWhorter and Davis apparently had their eye on the inexpensive property when they arrived sometime early last year from Oklahoma. They had some sort of agreement with the landowner but "didn't realize what they were getting into."

No one had seen the couple for months, until neighbors who lived three miles away asked two snowmobilers to check on them. Howard said McWhorter told the snowmobilers to call authorities because his wife was dead.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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