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As Heartbroken Son Graduates, Dad's Body Is Pulled From Rubble

2 people remain unaccounted for in Davenport, Iowa, building collapse
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2023 1:19 AM CDT
As Heartbroken Son Graduates, Dad's Body Is Pulled From Rubble
This photo combo shows from left, Branden Colvin, Ryan Hitchcock, and Daniel Prien.   (Davenport Police Dept. via AP)

The body of one of the three people who remained unaccounted for last week after an Iowa apartment building partially collapsed was recovered Saturday—the same day his son graduated from high school. "He’s proud of me. He is the reason I was even able to have enough strength to walk across the stage," Branden Colvin Jr., 18, tells CNN. The teen had been sleeping outside near the building, despite warnings from officials that the rest of it might collapse, since the May 28 tragedy, and was struggling to attend his final days of school. But he ultimately "walked across that stage today knowing my dad is proud of me and will forever be proud of me," he says.

Two more people who also lived in the collapsed portion of the building and are believed to have been home at the time of the collapse, Ryan Hitchcock and Daniel Prien, remain missing. Search and rescue teams are now in recovery mode, and the city plans to carefully take down the rest of the building to avoid further collapses, USA Today reports. Prien's daughter, however, says, "I do not want them to demolish the building until the missing are found or confirmed to not be there." Her father, a formerly homeless veteran, is "a very sweet and loving person," she says. "He should not and will not be dismissed because of his situation, so I’ll fight to find him and get justice for him." (More Iowa stories.)

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