Man Found Dead in City’s Drinking Water Supply

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A body discovered in the Highland Park Reservoir in Rochester, New York, earlier this week has been identified as a missing person who had been submerged in the water for almost a month, according to officials on Thursday. The finding prompted a temporary boil water advisory, which has now been lifted.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans revealed during a press conference that the body of 29-year-old Abdullahi Muya, a local resident who had been missing since February, was found on Tuesday at approximately 8 a.m. As a precautionary measure, the reservoir was immediately shut off and bypassed in the city’s water distribution system.

Although exposed to the reservoir for an extended period, water quality tests conducted by the county have confirmed the safety of the water supply, stated Mayor Evans. The reservoir will only resume service after being drained and thoroughly cleaned.

The investigation conducted by the police indicated that Muya entered the gated area on February 24 and tragically lost his life a few days later. No foul play is suspected.

The discovery of the body, a month after Muya’s death, raises concern regarding how it went unnoticed in the reservoir for such a prolonged period. Rochester Mayor Evans admitted that this question is being widely asked, particularly by himself. Despite daily inspections and regular patrols by city security and water bureau personnel, including advanced equipment monitoring, there was no indication of any disturbance caused by Muya’s presence.

The reservoir, with a depth of 15 feet, contains areas where the view of the bottom can be obscured by reflection waves and shadows, contributing to the body’s concealment. Mayor Evans expressed sympathy for the water bureau team, who found the incident highly traumatic.

To prevent future breaches, the city is taking steps to implement safeguards. The refilling process for the reservoir will occur over the next few months.

The tragic discovery of Abdullahi Muya’s body in the Rochester reservoir has raised questions about the effectiveness of monitoring systems and the need for enhanced security measures. Water quality tests have confirmed the safety of the supply, reassuring residents. As the city continues its investigation, steps are underway to prevent similar incidents in the future.