Police trying to determine whether decomposed body found in Ogdensburg is that of missing psychiatric center patient
OGDENSBURG – Authorities are hoping to determine whether the decomposed body of a white male found near the end of the Maple City Trail today is that of a St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center patient reported missing Sept. 21.
After receiving a tip, Ogdensburg Police Department officers located the body in the swamp off the trail. Officers were assisted by the state police Aviation Unit stationed in Lake Clear.Due to the condition of the body, a positive identification was not immediately possible, police said.
St. Lawrence County Corner Kevin Crosby ordered the body removed to Claxton Hepburn-Medical Center, where an autopsy will be performed Tuesday.
Also involved in today’s recovery operation were members of the Ogdensburg Fire Department, the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, and the Ogdensburg Public Works Dept.
County District Attorney Mary Rain has been notified, police said.
Police have been conducting a missing person investigation for Donald Copeman, 45, who was a resident of the psychiatric center’s Northwood Manor, 1 Chimney Point Drive. He was last seen on Sept. 19 around 9:45 a.m., police said.
He is described as being 5’10”, 200 lbs., blue eyes and bald. Copeman wears thick rimmed, brown glasses, police said at the time.
He reportedly was seen getting into a blue taxi van at Northwood Manor.
Copeman failed to return on Saturday afternoon, as expected, and has had no contact with staff at Northwood manor since.
The investigation into the identity of the decomposed body is continuing and more details will be made available when possible, police said.