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Body found at condemned SeaView Lofts in Newport News

The Newport News Police Department said the body belonged to a man who had died of natural causes.

NORFOLK, Va. — Newport News Police officers discovered a body inside the condemned Sea View Lofts apartment building in Newport News.

After investigating, officers confirmed the man died of natural causes.

Police and fire crews spent hours at the apartment tower Monday.

A Newport News police department spokesperson said officers arrived around 9 a.m. for a welfare check, and that's when they found the man.

The man was inside an apartment unit, and he appeared to be in his 50s, a city spokesman said.

The city condemned the building months ago, back in July, after a code inspection showed the building had issues with the elevators and the boiler.

Joe Branch spoke to 13News Now after hearing about the situation. He's lived at Seaview for 10 years, and was among the more than 100 residents who were forced out.

“I know there’s a lot of people still living in their cars and still have nowhere else to go,” Branch said. “It’s very sad. Look at how long it’s been and nothing has really been accomplished.”

No one is supposed to live inside the building right now, but residents say they are allowed inside during the day to retrieve personal belongings.

Branch and others in the area say it’s possible the man was a neighbor who went inside to get his items, or had nowhere else to go.

“Some of them were sleeping in their cars in the parking lot right there, so maybe he didn’t have nowhere to go,” area resident Kevin Dixon said.

Jodi Call, who lives down the street, said she often saw lights on in apartments during the evening.

“Yeah I seen there’s still lights. I could see the lights on and I was wondering if the people were going in and out of there,” Call said. "I had no idea though there was somebody found dead in this there, that’s really shocking, surprising.”

A city spokesperson said fire crews spent the morning visiting every apartment inside Seaview to make sure no one else was inside the apartment.

Another resident told 13News Now the door is locked every night around 5 p.m. and no one is allowed inside after that.

It’s up to a judge to decide when people can move back in, and there is no set date yet. 

A Newport News city spokesperson confirmed one elevator inside Seaview Lofts passed inspection yesterday.

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