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Pennsylvania

Authorities say Duquesne University student Dakota James drowned; rule death an accident

Natasha Lindstrom
| Thursday, May 25, 2017, 5:42 p.m.
Photos provided by the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety show missing Duquesne University graduate student Dakota James.
Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety
Photos provided by the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety show missing Duquesne University graduate student Dakota James.

Dakota James — the Duquesne University student whose body was found floating in the Ohio River in early March — died of an accidental drowning, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office said Thursday.

The decision rules out foul play in the death of James, 23, who went missing Jan. 25 after a night out with coworkers in Downtown Pittsburgh.

After a six-week search, Robinson police and a water rescue crew pulled his body from the Ohio River near Neville Island on March 6 .

Pittsburgh police cannot provide further details about the circumstances of his death, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said Thursday.

When his body was found , police did not describe the evidence that allowed investigators to identify James, but they said he was wearing the same clothes he wore the night he disappeared: a red hoodie, jeans and a Columbia jacket.

Security footage showed some of his movements upon parting ways with friends the evening of Jan. 25, but the trail went cold at Fort Duquesne Boulevard, police said.

The footage showed James walking through Katz Plaza, heading toward Fort Duquesne Boulevard. James had lived in an apartment in the North Side.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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