Four years later, family still seeking answers to what happened to Dakota James

Parents of Dakota James announce new investigation into son’s death

PITTSBURGH — Four years after a Pittsburgh man’s body was recovered from the Ohio River, his family says they are still seeking answers to what happened to him, and say the disappearance of another local man has many similarities.

Dakota James was a student at Duquesne University when he was reported missing in January of 2017. His body was discovered in March of that year and his death ruled an accidental drowning.

But the family says they believe foul play was involved.

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“We know someone took Dakota’s life and yes we will continue to fight to find answers,” Pamela James, Dakota’s mother posted on Facebook.

Pamela James also pointed out the similarities to the disappearance of Thomas Hughes, who was reported missing on Jan. 23.

Hughes, 25, was last seen at around 11 p.m. when he was leaving his parents’ house. When he failed to return and answer his phone, the family said they knew something was wrong.

His vehicle was found the entrance of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail on the South Side, with the keys in the ignition.

Police have been actively searching Riverside Park in the South Side.

“My wish tonight is to pray that Thomas Hughes is found safe and comes home to his family. I pray for all those that have become part of a story that we never wanted to be apart of,” Pamela James’ post read.

Pittsburgh police looking for missing 25-year-old man