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Niagara torso belongs to missing N.Y., mom 0

Alison Langley and Dan Dakin, QMI Agency
Loretta Gates, 30, was last seen Aug. 25. Photo taken from her Facebook page.

Loretta Gates, 30, was last seen Aug. 25. Photo taken from her Facebook page.

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - Police have confirmed the torso found in the Niagara River last week is that of a missing mother of three from Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Loretta Jo Gates, 30, was last seen Aug. 25 after leaving her mother's home in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Gates' family submitted DNA samples to U.S. police earlier this week to determine if the headless torso is that of the missing woman.

The Erie County Central Police Services Forensic laboratory on Friday confirmed the recovered torso had been forensically identified as Gates.

"We're not happy that this happened, but we're happy for the family that they have some closure," said Niagara Regional Police Det. Sgt. Brian Smith.

Also on Friday, Niagara police with the assistance of Whirlpool Jet Boats and the Niagara Parks Police recovered part of an arm and a leg in the Niagara River near the whirlpool.

"We were first alerted to the discovery by a fisherman late Thursday, but it was too dark for us to go and search the area," said Smith. "We asked the Niagara Parks Commission to perform a search (Friday morning) and they found the body parts around 3 p.m."

The recovered body parts will undergo DNA analysis to confirm identification, police said.

Police have ruled Gates' death a homicide and the matter is now being jointly investigated by Niagara Falls, N.Y., police and New York State Police.

"The U.S. side has taken over as lead in the investigation and we're assisting them in any way we can," Smith said.


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