Rochester officials issue boil notice after finding corpse in public water, then say it had been floating there for a month

Public officials in Rochester, New York, issued a boil notice for residents after finding a corpse in a water supply reservoir, but the next day, they admitted that it had been floating in the water for a month.

The body was found on Tuesday when officials said that they would investigate how long it had been floating in the water supply and under what circumstances. They also issued a boil notice asking residents in some neighborhoods to boil their water as a precaution.

On Wednesday, officials revealed that the man had been identified as 29-year-old Abdullahi Muya and said that evidence showed he had fallen into the water and died on Feb. 28. He had also been missing since Feb. 18.

Muya apparently scaled an eight-foot fence into the Highland Park Reservoir, then slipped and fell into the water at about 6:30 a.m.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans questioned how it was that city officials overseeing the reservoir didn’t detect the body for a month.

“The reservoir is fenced as you know, it has spikes, but it does not deter someone who is determined to get in,” said Evans. “There are cameras around the perimeter, some with heat and motion sensors, the bureau is patrolled regularly by city security and water bureau personnel.”

He went to say that there was no else present at the time of the man’s drowning.

“It does not appear that there is any criminal element to this investigation,” Evans concluded. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Muya family who have diligently been searching for him since he went missing.”

Muya’s brother, Mahamud Muya, told WHEC-TV in a previous interview that the missing man needed to take medicine in order to sleep and that if he went without it, he could become very paranoid.

“It’s been very stressful, especially for my mom. She calls crying every day,” his brother said.

Officials also lifted the boil notice and said that testing had determined there was no danger to residents drinking and using the water. They offered bottled water to residents on Wednesday.

The Rochester City School District had cancelled classes over the boil notice but resumed on Thursday.

Officials said they will drain and clean the reservoir but that process will take eight weeks.

Here’s more about the corpse boil notice:

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