Authorities do not believe that Jose Ireta was a victim of foul play, but have been unable to identify his next of kin since having pulled his body from the Cooper River last week.
By Matt Skoufalos | September 1, 2016
UPDATE: Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 12:40 p.m. – Pennsauken Police have identified the man whose body they retrieved from the Cooper River last week as 40-year-old Jose Ireta, who may also have been known by the alias Jaime Sanchez.
However, they have no information about Ireta’s next of kin and have been unable to identify any of his family members as yet.
“We don’t have any contacts right now,” said Pennsauken Sergeant Philip Olivo, who added that Ireta was “probably homeless.” Olivo invited anyone who may have known Ireta to contact the department at 856-488-0080 to help connect them with his relatives.
The body of a man pulled from the Cooper River by fire and EMS squads from Pennsauken and Collingswood is not believed to have been a victim of foul play, according to preliminary investigation from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office (CCPO).
CCPO Sergeant Eric Wren said that the body has been “only tentatively identified” by investigators, but noted that initial observations do not seem to indicate the victim had sustained any trauma. Wren didn’t offer any theories as to how the individual may have entered the water.
“If it’s boating-related, you usually find a boat,” he said.
The Cooper River flows into the Delaware, and sometimes tidal patterns can push a body into the smaller river from the larger one, Wren said; however, such cases usually don’t surface so far inland.
Camden County Boathouse Manager Jamie Stack said the body was first observed by a member of the Cooper River Rowing Club master’s group early Thursday. The dock was subsequently closed for most of the morning, as marine rescue units from the Collingswood and Pennsauken Fire Departments retrieved the body, and investigators examined it at the dock before transporting it to the coroner’s office.
“Anyone who goes in [the river], there’s usually a set of eyes between us and the [Cooper River] Yacht Club,” Stack said.
Collingswood Fire Chief Keith Davis said his department and Pennsauken’s are routinely dispatched for a joint response when incidents occur on the river. Davis said the units haven’t seen more activity than usual this summer.
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