PITTSBURGH - Authorities tell Channel 11 News that the autopsy on Paul Kochu confirms that his death was the result of a drowning.
Kochu’s body was pulled from the Ohio River in West Virginia on March 20.
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Kochu, 22, went missing during the early morning hours of Dec. 16 in the 1900 block of Wharton Street on Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Surveillance video from that morning captured Kochu walking alone near the South Side Giant Eagle.
Family and friends had organized search parties and spent countless hours looking for him.
Pittsburgh police said that through working with the Charleston Medical Examiner's Office, forensic dentist John Carson was able to identify the body recovered in the river as Kochu.
Kochu’s family released the following statement when his body was found:
“It is with heavy hearts and unspeakable sadness that we learned today of the death of our beloved son and brother, Paul. These are circumstances no family ever dreams of coping with. Though we are left with many questions, what we know for sure is Paul was the light of our lives, and we will not be the same without him.
“Paul loved Pittsburgh. Having traveled here repeatedly over the past four months as we held out hope in the search for Paul, it is clear to us why this community was so dear to him. In addition to family and friends, countless strangers embraced us and offered their love and support in helping us during this difficult time. There are no adequate words to express the gratitude we feel towards the Pittsburgh community."
The Allegheny Health Network also issued a statement, saying, “The Allegheny Health Network family is saddened to learn of the death of Paul Kochu and extends our sincere condolences to his family and friends. Paul will be greatly missed, particularly by his colleagues in the intensive care unit.”
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