Brandon Addeo | News Editor
A memorial service is scheduled for Dakota James, a Duquesne graduate student who was found dead March 6.
The service will be March 18 at 11 a.m. at the Calvary United Methodist Church on 971 Beech Avenue in Pittsburgh.
James, who was pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration, had been missing for 40 days when his body was discovered by a passerby in the Ohio River in Robinson Township.
“My son is now in the arms of God and those family members who have passed before us and I know he is being well taken care of and is no longer in pain,” said Dakota’s mother Pamela James in a March 6 Facebook post. “Thank you to all who have helped by searching, praying, hugging, sending condolences and even laughing during this very difficult time.”
Police have not yet confirmed James’ cause of death, pending toxicology results from the Allegheny County Medical Examiner.
James was last seen near the Cultural District’s Katz Plaza at 11:49 p.m. on Jan. 25 walking toward Fort Duquesne Boulevard, according to police. Surveillance images did not show which direction Dakota James turned on Fort Duquesne Boulevard, and cameras on bridges leading to the North Shore — where Dakota James lived — did not pick up images of the missing student.
Members of Duquesne’s campus and the larger Pittsburgh community expressed grief for Dakota James’ death.
Duquesne President Ken Gormley said in a statement he was “saddened” by the news.
“I extend my deepest sympathy to Dakota’s family and friends on behalf of the entire Duquesne University community,” Gormley said.
Karen Donovan, associate dean of graduate programs in Duquesne’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business, said the business school was sad to learn of “the loss of one of [their] own.”
“For those of us who knew Dakota, his absence will be profoundly felt,” Donovan said. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family and friends during this terrible time.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto thanked Pittsburgh Police for their efforts despite it not being the “outcome we had hoped for.”
“My heart goes out to the family of Mr. James and the entire Duquesne University community,” Peduto said. “I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to lose a young loved one like Dakota.”
The James family has scheduled a funeral for March 25 in their hometown of Frederick, Maryland.