Missing Duquesne alum Kochu one of two bodies ID’d by police

Courtesy photo. Paul Kochu poses for a photo in his graduation gown in 2014.

Courtesy photo. Paul Kochu poses for a photo in his graduation gown in 2014.

By Julian Routh | News Editor

Police announced Thursday that a body found in the Ohio River near Wheeling, West Virginia has been identified as missing Duquesne alumnus Paul Kochu.

After more than three months of investigating Kochu’s disappearance, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police missing persons unit received information March 20 from the Wheeling police department that a body had been pulled from the river.

A forensic dentist at the medical examiner’s office in Charleston, West Virginia was able to identify the body as Kochu’s, according to Police Cmdr. RaShall Brackney.

“The Kochu family has been notified and the Bureau of Police have extended grief counseling to the family at this time,” Brackney said.

A cause of death has not yet been determined, Brackney said.

Police also announced Thursday that the body of 34 year-old Andre Gray, who had been missing since October, was found in the Ohio River near Weston, West Virginia on March 20. Police said a preliminary autopsy showed that Gray had been shot. A homicide investigation is underway, Brackney said.

Though both bodies were found on the same day in West Virginia, there is no indication that the two cases are in any way connected, according to Brackney.

Kochu, 22, had been missing since the early hours of Dec. 16, when he was last seen on surveillance video walking on Wharton Street in South Side.

In a written statement, the Kochu family said they have been through “circumstances no family ever dreams of coping with.”

“Though we are left with many questions, what we know for sure is Paul was the light of our lives, and we will not be the same without him,” the Kochu family said.

Kochu graduated from Duquesne in December with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. He started working in the Intensive Care Unit at Allegheny General Hospital in October.

 

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