Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the investigation into the discovery of a body floating in the Passaic River in Elmwood Park on Sunday, May 24, 2020.
Officials say at approximately 11:20 a.m., the Elmwood Park Police Department received a 911 call reporting a body in the Passaic River.
The body was located underneath Broadway on the Elmwood Park/Paterson border according to Bergen County officials.
The body was an unidentified male found face down, tangled in debris.
The Elmwood Park Fire Department rescue boat retrieved the unidentified male and brought him to the Elmwood Park Marina for an examination by the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The initial assessment did not reveal any trauma to the body.
Further investigation identified the decedent as a juvenile from Paterson, 17-year- old Joshua Hames.
Subsequent to an autopsy, the cause of death was determined to be drowning.
Although a preliminary investigation indicates that the death is not suspicious, a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the drowning is ongoing.
The investigation is being jointly conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Anthony Cureton, the Elmwood Park Police Department under the direction of Chief Michael Foligno, and the Paterson Police Department.