Missing Grad Student’s Mother Upset With Mayor, Police Investigators

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Frustration has reached a boiling point for the family of the Duquesne University grad student who’s been missing since January.

Dakota James‘ mother has now taken to Facebook to air her grievances. She says a press conference held Tuesday to update the public about her missing son was filled with inaccurate information.

She’s pointing the finger at the mayor.

Dakota’s mom has posted a list of 12 pieces of information she says the police either have wrong or have been stumbling blocks in the investigation.

She starts by claiming the “timeline” laid out at the press conference is wrong, and she also directs some of her anger at the mayor.

In one posting she says: “I’m so angry over the press conference. So many inaccuracies.”

Dakota’s mother goes on to criticize Pittsburgh Mayor Bil Peduto for not showing up at the press conference.

However, Mayor Peduto said Wednesday, “We have been involved. I have personally been involved in this case from the beginning. The chief has been in contact with the family, the detectives have been in contact with the family almost every day.”

Dakota, 23, disappeared more than a month ago. The last time he was seen was on a surveillance camera while he was walking through Katz Plaza in Downtown Pittsburgh on the night of Jan. 25.

His mom writes that it points to an inaccuracy: “It changed the color of his jacket to blue instead of green, but we still hear reports for looking for green.”

She also says the time of events that night is wrong, concerning bars he visited on Liberty Avenue.

She writes: “You stated that Dakota and coworker did not go into Images. Lie. We have proof by coworker receipt that they were served drinks and was well after the 10:30 time frame at 941 Saloon.”

“We’re doing everything we can,” said Mayor Peduto. “We know all of the facts of where he was that evening.”

Dakota’s mom ends her post with by stating: “Dakota, I love you so hard!”

“I don’t even want to get into what the family may or may not believe in this case, but it’s a full effort to try to find this this person,” the mayor said.

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Dakota’s mom is also angry that the next surveillance camera that would have captured a shot of her son was apparently broken. She also says he was not texting his dad when he was seen in Katz Plaza, but instead, she claims he was texting someone else.

Finally, she says the dating app, Grindr, has not given them enough information to help.

The mayor says once Dakota goes toward the bridge, the case falls apart. Also, he says since no one has used Dakota’s phone or credit cards, there’s no evidence of an abduction.


One Comment

  1. David Colton says:

    This family either has a LOT of political pull, or a lot of business horsepower. In my 30+ years in law enforcement, I have NEVER seen so much taxpayer money used to search for one person. A person of political and/or government service-yes. But one (apparently) highly intoxicated individual. (Remember he WAS shut off by the alcohol server.) No.
    I don’t know anything about this guy, but I know that the evidence of no sightings, no activity on his phone or credit cards, leads to one of two conclusions. He either doesn’t WANT to be found, or, the river will give him back during the spring. (As the river’s have done for over 200 years.)
    It’s OK to ask for volunteers to help with the search. But to “bad mouth’ the mayor & the city, after ALL they have done (and the money that they have spent in the search so far,) is just plain unacceptable. It’s best in life to NOT bite the hand that’s trying to help you.
    I feel sorry for the family, and their loss. But this is now a recovery operation, not a search & rescue anymore. The mayor & taxpayers have spent enough on this. It would have ended long ago IF the person was an average white person. Even sooner if a minority. Truth sometimes is hard to take.

  2. Sounds like he was drunk and fell in the river.

    1. If that is the case, then they are looking in the wrong place. They should be looking much further down the Ohio River.

Comments are closed.

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