Bloated Corpse Retrieved From River
by Thomas MacMillan | May 18, 2012 11:39 am
Posted to: Kimberly Square
Police divers fished a body out of the West River Friday morning after a fisherman discovered it.
At 11:15 a.m. the divers brought the body onto the shore of the West River behind the regional fire training academy off the Boulevard.
A man named Luis had been fishing there around 9:30. For 15 years he has fished there regularly for stripers, according to his friend, Ermelinda Otero.
Friday morning he saw a body about 50 yards out in the water. Shook up, he rushed to the fire academy to tell the people there. Then he told Otero (pictured), who was at a nearby auto body shop.
The pair returned to the water to find firefighters out in a Zodiac boat slowly dragging the dead body with a rope. The body appeared to be that of a man, wearing dark clothes and still wearing shoes, Otero, who’s 42, said later. The man was face up, with his arms over his head, she said.
“It was just floating down the river,” she said. The body was bloated, she said. “It looked like it was about to explode.”
The police department’s dive team was called in.
The team arrived around 10:30 and began unloading scuba tanks; three members were suiting up by 10:45. They had blue flippers and neon yellow scuba tanks. The fire department’s boat was still in the water.
The divers came out of the water at 11:15 a.m. Cops and firefighters pulled the body, wrapped in a blue tarp, up onto the shore.
Shortly before 11:45, the body was loaded, in a white body bag, onto a grey Ford pick-up truck.
Police spokesman Officer David Hartman (pictured) briefed reporters at the scene.
He said the current was moving swiftly in the West River, so it wasn’t clear where the body might have come from. He confirmed the body was that of a man—of unknown age or race at this point. The body had tattoos and “unique jewelry” that might at some point help lead to an identification.
Hartman said at this initial point the police don’t know how long the body had been in the water. He said it appeared not to be a matter of months, but possibly weeks.
The police contacted the Coast Guard and the West Haven cops to see if they had any reporters of missing boaters. They haven’t heard back yet.
Police have “nothing to suggest foul play at the moment.”
Press and public watched the action from a nearby bridge.
Emergency personnel lined the riverbank.
Post a Comment
“WTNH quoted “witnesses” saying the body had been in the river for days and belonged to a man.”
posted by: Josh Levinson on May 18, 2012 11:31am
Really disappointing. After a really good start to the year in terms of homicides, New Haven is really struggling lately with murders. IF things don’t change soon, I imagine Chief Esserman will be on the hot seat sooner, rather than later.
Though to be quite honest, I’m not sure how many of our problems are enforcement-related and how many are simply systemic and/or cultural.
posted by: cunningham on May 18, 2012 12:34pm
This is just as likely an accidental drowning as it is a murder, Irish Loop. Let’s not jump to conclusions here.
Irish Loop, you are correct that comprehensive community development, not policing, is the answer.
Unfortunately, the city thinks that more cops equals less crime.
It’s actually the opposite, unless you hire cops from the local communities where unemployment exceeds 50% in many cases.
Currently, 80% of cops live out of town.
Instead of hiring new officers from Wallingford, I would like to see a budget amendment that puts that money into hiring and training young men who live in our communities. This was tried in Newhallville 10 years ago and crime was all but eliminated until the program was cut.
More officers are nice but sometimes you have to prioritize existing resources and ensure that your spending actually benefits the people in your city, first and foremost, not just the contractors and union leaders who donate to your Mayoral campaigns.
TO IRISH LOOP
I do not think that our Chief will be on any hot seat. He is doing a great job so far.
Maybe McNulty can study the tide charts and prove that the body washed down river from another town, so it won’t hurt our numbers in CompStat.
Was it REALLY necessary to have ALL of the people there in the last picture. I could see if a person was missing or just went overboard, but that is a total waste of resources.