Authorities Identify Remains Of Man Who Went Missing In Niagara Falls In 1990 And Drifted 145 Miles

OSWEGO, N.Y. (AP) — A body that washed up on the shores of Lake Ontario in 1992 has been identified as a Buffalo man who is believed to have died going over Niagara Falls.

Vincent Stack went missing in Niagara Falls State Park on Dec. 4, 1990. DNA technology helped identify his remains, which drifted 15 miles (24 kilometers) to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and then 130 miles (209 kilometers) across Lake Ontario before washing ashore on April 8, 1992, the Oswego County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The remains were badly decomposed and mostly skeletal when they were discovered, the sheriff's office said. The medical examiner determined that the unidentified person had been dead between six months and five years.

Thirty years later in 2022, the sheriff's office renewed its efforts to identify the remains and reached out to the Niagara Regional Police Service in Ontario, Canada for help.

Detective Constable Sara Mummery of the Ontario department assisted with obtaining a new DNA sample from the remains that had washed ashore in 1992 for comparison with missing person cases in both the United States and Canada, the sheriff's office said.

In February of 2024 the authorities were able to match the DNA sample with genetic material collected from the family of Stack, who was 40 when he disappeared, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. The sheriff's office notified Stack's family of the identification.

The Oswego County Sheriff's Office and the Niagara Regional Police Service are each working to identify other unidentified remains cases in the area, the authorities said.