PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On the morning of New Year’s Eve, someone spotted the body of a man floating face down in the Ohio River near the Emsworth Lock and Dam.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner later identified him as 48-year-old Drew Camoosa, from Little Egg Harbor on the New Jersey shore. He was the victim of an apparent suicide.
Although foul play is not suspected, Allegheny County Police now want to know what happened in the hours before Camoosa took his own life and what was done to prevent it.
KDKA has learned that the night before, Port Authority Police found Camoosa walking along the railroad tracks near the East Busway entrance downtown.
Port Authority won’t confirm or deny any details, but sources familiar with the investigation say police found that Camoosa, a high school social science teacher, had been reported missing from New Jersey and that his family believed him to be suicidal.
The same sources say the officers, convinced that Camoosa posed a danger to himself, took him to the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in the city’s Oakland section to be involuntarily committed.
Under such a commitment, a person can be held for up to 72 hours against their will for evaluation and potential treatment. That being the case, Allegheny County Police now want to know why Camoosa’s body was discovered in the Ohio River less than 14 hours later.
Calls to UPMC were not returned on Tuesday, but the medical center routinely cites privacy laws in not commenting on patients admitted to Western Psych.
Allegheny County Police also declined comment except to say that they have contacted UPMC for information on Camoosa and his mental history, but have not received any information back.