Local Brief: Search for Dakota James reaches end


Photo by Nikole Kost

Written By Emily Bennett , Editor-Elect

The six-week search for Duquesne University graduate student Dakota James reached an end Monday morning when police pulled James’ body from the Ohio River around 9:30 a.m.

James was last seen Downtown on Jan. 25. Surveillance cameras last showed James in Katz Plaza in the Cultural District as well as at the Wood Street T Station on the same night, according to WPXI.

Leading up to the discovery of the body, search efforts stretched across Allegheny and Beaver counties.

Divers searched all three Pittsburgh rivers, encompassing the shorelines as well as homeless camps and landfills, according to WPXI.

Missing person fliers have dotted all of campus and the Downtown area for weeks, offering a $10,000 reward for any information that could have lead to the graduate student’s whereabouts.

During a Pittsburgh police press briefing Monday afternoon, Assistant Chief of Investigations Lavonnie Bickerstaff would not answer questions concerning what personal items were found on James’ body, according to the Post-Gazette.

Additionally, a detective present at the briefing said James was wearing the clothes he had on when he first went missing.

According to TribLive.com, the 23-year-old’s body has been turned over to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner.

Bickerstaff did not comment on whether police suspected foul play.