Police continue effort to ID man found in Naugatuck River

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By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

NAUGATUCK — A day after recovering the remains of a body from the Naugatuck River, police were still trying to identify the man.

The man’s body was found on an island in the river near Platts Mill Road and Radnor Avenue on Tuesday afternoon. Police said a hiker walking in the area spotted the man at about 3:40 p.m. and called police.

The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy of the body Wednesday, but was unable to determine how the man died. The cause of the man’s death is “pending further studies,” the office reported.

Deputy Police Chief C. Colin McAllister said Wednesday police had not identified the man yet, but were following up on what he described as “promising leads.” He said police are also looking into missing person reports, but haven’t found any reports that point to the man.

McAllister said there was clothing on the body but no identification. He said the body was in a state of decomposition. It’s unclear how long the man’s body was in the river and whether someone put the body there or it was carried by the current downstream, he said.

McAllister said police are continuing to investigate the incident as a criminal matter until they find evidence to the contrary.

The location of the body made it difficult for police to investigate at the scene. McAllister said Beacon Hose Co. No. 1’s water rescue team responded with a boat to carry officers to the island to investigate and recover the body. Emergency personnel cleared the area by about 11:30 p.m., he said. The state police central district major crime squad assisted with processing the scene.

The investigation is ongoing. Police ask anyone with information to contact the Naugatuck Police Department at 203-729-5221 or the department’s anonymous tip at 203-720-1010.