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UPDATED; Body discovered in Massena was a female, according to forensic pathologist

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By BOB BECKSTEAD

MASSENA - An autopsy conducted Tuesday on a body found last week in the Massena Industrial Park has determined that the person was a female.

But other information, such as cause of death, will take additional testing, according to New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert S. LaFountain.

He said the autopsy was conducted Tuesday by Dr. Michael Sikirica, a forensic pathologist at the Albany Medical Center.

“He has been able to determine the gender of the body to be that of a female. Positive identification has not been established. The cause and manner of death are still pending further forensic investigation,” Capt. LaFountain said Tuesday afternoon.

He said other tests, such as toxicology and DNA, must still be completed.

He said state police continue to check databases of missing persons, a process they’ve been undertaking since the body was reported to them mid-afternoon Friday in a wooded area located near the ARC Bottle Redemption Center in the Massena Industrial Park, off from state Route 420 just outside the village limits.

“We’re following up on leads from the public. Out of the ones we’ve received, we have been able to verify that some of those individuals that were reported missing to us were located in good health,” he said.

Capt. LaFountain said they continue to seek reports of anyone who is missing but has not yet been reported to law enforcement.

“Sometimes people wait for an extended period of time” to report a missing individual, he said.

Anyone who is aware of a missing person who has not yet been reported to law enforcement is asked to call the New York State Police at (518) 897-2000.

Capt. LaFountain said that, as part of their investigation, they are still trying to establish the time of death.

“One of the things we’re currently working on is trying to establish that. We have an indication. We’re not releasing that information. We’d rather wait until we get an expert opinion,” he said.

Senior Investigator John H. Donohue, a state police BCI investigator based in Ray Brook, had said Saturday that the partially wrapped body was discovered by someone walking in the woods Friday afternoon. He said initial evidence suggested the body had been in the wooded area for a period of time.

Capt. LaFountain declined to comment on the report that the body had been partially wrapped.

“We’re not releasing that information at this time,” he said

St. Lawrence County Coroner James M. Sienkiewycz, who responded to the scene Friday afternoon, had said that the remains they were too decomposed to offer any clue abut the individual, and he had ordered the body removed and sent to Albany for the autopsy by Dr. Sikirica.

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