Bodies of missing fishermen recovered from river; investigation underway

LOWER BURRELL, Pa. — An investigation is underway after the bodies of a father and son were found in the Allegheny River on Tuesday.

Lower Burrell police confirmed that the bodies of 62-year-old Steven Sieminski, and his son, 30-year-old Justin Sieminski, were found near the ATI plant in Brackenridge.

The father and son left their Natrona Heights home around 9:30 p.m. Sunday to go night fishing at Braeburn Beach and never returned home, which their family said was not like them.

The search began when Steve Sieminski’s wife, Margaret, called 911 just before 4 p.m. Monday. She reported that she had tried to contact her husband numerous times, but his cellphone just kept ringing with no answer.

Bloodhounds were brought to the area Monday evening after no traces of the men were found. Police said the dogs tracked the men’s scents to the edge of the water, at which point the search turned into a transitioned to recovery effort.

Search teams worked well into Monday night in the area where the men's truck was found, near Lowe and Edgecliff roads in Lower Burrell.  Lower Burrell police Chief Tim Weitzel said crews had to deal with a lot of branches, logs and debris in the water, so as a safety precaution, the recovery effort was called off until Tuesday morning.

Around 7:20 a.m. Tuesday, officials said a man who was walking near the ATI plant reported he spotted a body in the river. Crews then sent a boat out and located the other man’s body close to where crews were searching Monday night.

The family has been alongside search crews since the search began, and many family members gathered at the marina in Tarentum on Tuesday after learning that divers recovered their loved ones’ bodies.

Police said the Westmoreland County coroner will decide what the next step in the investigation will be.

Weitzel, said, “I don't know what happened. Obviously something bad happened. I don't know if one became in distress and (then) the other but, at this point, we'll let the investigation decide which way we go.”

Channel 11 News spoke with Patty Huckabaa on Monday about the search for her brother and nephew.

“It’s a nightmare,” Huckabaa said. “He has a wife and a daughter. They would never just disappear.”

Stay with Channel 11 News and for continuing coverage.