Dakota James was last seen on January 25, 2017 and had been missing for more than a month. Just yesterday, his body was discovered in the Ohio River. Now, police are putting together the puzzle of James' death.
Debbie Dohmlo spotted the body floating in the river and called the police, who recovered the corpse. "Please let [his family] know that I am praying for strength for them to get through this horrible time, and they have my deepest sympathy," she said in a written statement to WPXI.
It has not been decided if foul play is suspected: “At this point, this is an ongoing investigation, and the medical examiner has to examine the body,” said Assistant Pittsburgh Police Chief Lavonnie Bickerstaff. No signs of trauma were found on the body.
WTAE reported that James had been using gay social media app Grindr prior to his disappearance. But according to a Facebook post from the deceased's mother, they would not provide enough information to help solve the mystery: "Grindr did not provide all the information that we need. They only gave you the minimal [information] that they are required by the so called law. We will continue to fight to get more information," wrote Pamela James.
Police noted that James was last seen on security cameras at Katz Plaza at around 11:45pm on the night of his disappearance. It appears that he got into an Uber, after which no activity on his phone was found.
The President of Duquesne University, where James had been studying, released the following statement: “Dakota and his family have been in our prayers throughout this difficult ordeal. I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic outcome, and I extend my deepest sympathy to Dakota’s family and friends on behalf of the entire Duquesne University community.”