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No ID Yet for Body That Washed Up on Shelter Island Beach

Thu, 11/17/2022 - 09:38

A body was found washed up on the beach at the Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island on Friday but has yet to be identified by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The apparent drowning victim was discovered at Smith Cove, a popular deep-water anchorage in the summer season that is on the sprawling preserve’s southwest side, across the water from North Haven.

Dario Cholula, a 31-year-old Queens man who was working on North Haven, went missing on Oct. 19 during a nighttime kayak fishing trip. It is not known if Mr. Cholula was the person found on the beach at Smith Cove, but no other local boating or other accidents involving a missing person had been reported in the weeks since Mr. Cholula’s disappearance.

Mr. Cholula had launched a kayak almost directly across from where the body was found. The kayak was found overturned with a fishing pole inside it on Oct. 20. However, despite an intensive, multi-agency police search — the Southampton Police Department is the lead agency in the case —  Mr. Cholula has not been located. His family has put up flyers throughout the area with his photograph and description.

Residents tracking his disappearance have noted that the channel between North Haven and Shelter Island is a notoriously swift-moving body of water. 

Lt. Susan Frank, a spokeswoman for the Southampton Town Police Department, said this week that the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office had not provided the department with any information about the apparent drowning victim’s identity.

The medical examiner’s office similarly did not provide The Star with any information about the victim and who he or she might be.

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