Police seek new leads in search for Dakota James

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Police
Duquesne graduate student Dakota James was found dead March 6 in the Ohio River in Robinson. He was 23.

Brandon Addeo | News Editor

UPDATE 12:45 p.m. 3/6/2017

Police confirmed that a body found this morning in the Ohio River is that of missing Duquesne student Dakota James. Read more here.


Pittsburgh Police are encouraging additional witnesses to come forward with information on Duquesne student Dakota James, who has now been missing for 36 days.

In a press briefing Feb. 28, police said video shows the 23-year-old walking down Scott Place in the Cultural District Jan. 25 — the night he disappeared — at 11:49 p.m. Scott Place borders Katz Plaza, where James was seen in a surveillance image minutes earlier at 11:46 p.m. released to the public Feb. 7.

Pittsburgh Police Sgt. Matthew Redpath said James was walking down Scott Place toward Fort Duquesne Boulevard, but the video did not show which direction James turned on Fort Duquesne Boulevard.

Redpath added James did not appear in any Jan. 25 surveillance footage from nearby bridges to the North Shore, where James lives. Redpath added that since James went missing there has been no activity on his bank account.

“We remain hopeful we will find him,” Lt. Victor Joseph said. “We have not given up.”

Redpath confirmed James and a female co-worker visited three bars the night he disappeared, adding the co-worker “is not suspected of any wrongdoing.”

Police Chief Scott Schubert said police “don’t have any evidence” that suggests foul play.

“This is an ongoing missing persons investigation,” Schubert said. “We’re going to continue to search … We want to find Dakota for his family.”

Police said James texted his father around the time of the 11:46 p.m. video, but declined to comment on the content of the message.

All calls to James’ cellphone have gone straight to voicemail, according to police.

Police also said there is no indication of a feud between James and anybody else. Joseph added Pittsburgh Police do not have any evidence to suggest an abduction.