Body Found In Water Supply Reservoir

Authorities in Rochester, New York confirmed that the dead body discovered in a reservoir on March 19 was that of a man who had been missing since February, CBS News reported.

The body was discovered in the Highland Park Reservoir on the morning of Tuesday, March 19. The reservoir supplies drinking water to a large portion of Rochester, so officials shut down part of the water distribution system and the Monroe County Health Department issued an advisory for residents to boil water for drinking or household use, according to Mayor Malik Evans.

Evans said at a press conference on March 20 that testing on the water showed “no issues” but the boil water advisory was enacted “out of an abundance of caution.” The reservoir would be out of service until it could be drained and cleaned, the mayor said.

Rochester police confirmed on March 21 that the body was that of Abdullahi Muya, a 29-year-old Rochester resident who was reported missing in mid-February.

According to the police, Muya’s body had been in the reservoir for nearly a month before he was found.

Based on their investigation, police said Muya entered the gated area of the reservoir on February 24 at around 6:30 a.m. It appeared that Muya slid down the side of the reservoir and drowned in the water.

No one else was present at the time and police found no evidence that Muya’s death was suspicious.

Mayor Evans said in a March 21 press conference that the county’s water quality tests “confirmed the safety” of the water and the boil advisory had been lifted.

Evans told reporters that it was unclear how Muya’s body could have remained “undetected” for nearly a month, especially since the city inspects the reservoir daily using high-tech equipment that should have detected the presence of a body.

According to the mayor, Muya’s body was “well below the surface” on the north side of the reservoir in a shaded area, which could explain why he had not been found sooner.