Identification Of Body Found In River Could Take Weeks

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Athens Messenger staff reports
Brendon Embry

Dateline
Updated Tue, Apr 22, 2014 12:56 pm

UPDATE 12:30 p.m. Athens Police have identified the body as Samuel Wiater, the 21-year-old Athens man who went missing in March.


UPDATE 8:40 a.m. Authorities were trying to determine if a body pulled from a river in southeast Ohio is that of a man missing for more than a month.

Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle said two boaters found the body in the Hocking River on Monday afternoon. A coroner was trying to identify the person.

Police have been searching extensively for 21-year-old Sam Wiater, who went missing from his Athens apartment on March 13. Police had reason to believe he had committed suicide in the Hocking River but previous searches of the river and surrounding area turned up nothing.

Foul play is not suspected in the case.

The river runs through the Ohio University campus, but Wiater - whose family lives in the Columbus suburb of Pickerington - was not a student.


UPDATE 4:15 p.m. Officials say the will have to use dental records and DNA testing to identify the body found in the Hocking River Monday morning.

Autopsy results could take anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks. A couple of fishermen spotted the body upstream from White's Mill.

Dive teams pulled the body from the water around 1 p.m. Monday. 

Officials think the body had been underwater for more than 24 hours but would not speculate beyond that.

Officials say they've contacted the family of Samuel Wiater, 21, as a precaution since Wiater was last believed to be headed down to the river when he went missing last month.


A body was discovered in the Hocking River upstream from White's Mill on Monday afternoon.

Athens Police and the Athens Fire Department are currently on scene with canoes to retrieve the body. No details on the identity of the body have been provided.

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