On the afternoon of July 5, Isaak Komisarchik, 82, was seen in a Denver nursing home, wearing pajama pants and a gray and white striped shirt. He walked to his mailbox and stopped by the office to pick up a few things, his daughter said.

Then, his daughter told a local television station, “he just disappeared.” Days went by with no one seeing or hearing from the elderly man, who had begun showing signs of dementia and would become “disoriented at times,” his daughter told KUSA.

His disappearance perplexed authorities and relatives, who said Komisarchik was physically incapable of walking very far from home.

Weeks went by, and authorities couldn’t find him. Then, several residents of a nearby apartment building – less than a mile from the nursing facility where Komisarchik was last seen – began complaining to management about a stench coming from the building’s parking garage.

On Aug. 2, nearly a month after he went missing, maintenance workers reported to fire authorities a discovery: a decomposed body in an elevator car in the parking garage. The body was soon identified as Komisarchik’s.

And this week, authorities began to unravel what may have happened in Komisarchik’s final moments.

At some point on or before July 6, Komisarchik stepped inside the parking garage elevator. For reasons that remain unclear, he struggled to get out.

So in an attempt to seek help, Komisarchik pushed the elevator’s emergency button – twice over the course of eight minutes, a Denver Fire Department spokesman told the Denver Post. But no one responded.

Electronic records show that the elevator’s emergency alarm was pressed at 9:09 p.m. and 9:17 p.m. on July 6, the day after Komisarchik was last spotted, according to KUSA. Pushing this emergency button should trigger an alert to an elevator monitoring group or the fire department. But during the time Komisarchik was in the elevator, the fire department received no emergency calls from that car, the Denver Post reported.

Denver Police told a local ABC affiliate that the elevator management company received an alert from the elevator and notified the apartment building management. Apartment workers checked two of the elevators, the ABC affiliate reported, but not a third elevator, where Komisarchik’s body was found.

That specific elevator was not in use in recent weeks because it was in an area of the parking garage that was under renovation, according to a statement from Greystar Management Services, which manages the apartment complex, Woodstream Village.

Now police and fire officials are working to figure out exactly what happened, and why Komisarchik’s calls for help went seemingly unanswered. “How he got in there and when he got in there is obviously what we’re trying to figure out,” said John White, the police spokesman.