Tonawanda News

Local News

September 11, 2012

Police calm fears

Tonawanda News — The fear in the Falls has apparently become so palpable, city police have now had to declare that they are not looking for a serial killer.

In response to rampant rumors and wild speculation on social media web sites, city detectives issued a statement late Monday afternoon that said there is no need to be on the look-out for a crazed murderer.

“It has been brought to our attention, from several sources, that there are a number of rumors regarding the Loretta Gates death and investigation,” the statement read. “There is no evidence to suggest a serial killer. This investigation is not similar to any other deaths we are aware of at this time.”

Police sources said the rumors began to spread after the discovery of human remains in a garbage bag in Hyde Park Lake late Sunday morning.

“All we are currently stating about what occurred at Hyde Park Lake on Sunday is that human remains were located in the water,” the police statement said. “We were able to confirm these remains belong to Loretta. We are not going to be any more specific.”

Just before noon Sunday, patrol officers responded to Duck Island, in Hyde Park, were a passer-by had noticed a bag floating in the lake and pulled it to shore. Inside the bag were human remains.

Sources close the case have indicated that Gates’ head and an arm were inside the bag.

Authorities in Niagara Falls, Ont. believe that an arm and leg that were recovered in the whirlpool rapids on Friday afternoon also came from Gates’ body. Those remains were spotted by a fisherman and retrieved by Niagara Regional Police.

A source with knowledge of the case tells the Gazette the discovery of body parts in the Falls likely means that Gates was murdered in the city and that the dismembered parts of her body were then disposed of at various locations.

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