Crews Resume Search For Missing Duquesne University Grad Student

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The search continues for a missing Duquesne University graduate student.

Dakota James, 23, was last seen on Jan. 25 in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

On Tuesday, crews resumed their search.

They spent more than three hours on the river and shoreline – using drones, boats, high-tech equipment and other means – to search the area around Neville Island, near the RMU Sports Complex.

Robinson Township Emergency Manager Gary Bayne brought in his drone to search from the skies.

“We put drones up in the air. It gives us a second set of eyes,” said Bayne.

Authorities say no tips or evidence brought them to the Ohio River near Neville island.

“We have no information that led us to believe that there is anything in this area,” said Larry Forletta, a private investigator. “We’re randomly doing this.”

The drone is considered a valuable tool to search the shoreline and other areas too dangerous for walking.

“These drones’ technology has gotten a lot better over the years,” said Bayne. “It’s easier to justify sending a piece of equipment that might be $1,500, rather than risking somebody’s life.”

Volunteers from a number of municipalities were also involved. At least five boats provided a visual search of the Ohio River. The sheriff’s department also brought in a specially-trained canine.

It’s all part of community-wide effort to help a distraught family.

“Someone out there knows where my son is,” said Jeff James, Dakota’s father. “I need that person to come forward to show your heart and your mercy.”

The boats out on Tuesday covered about 25 miles of water. Previous searches took place upstream, along the North Shore and the Downtown area.

Officials are now deciding where to take the search efforts next.

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