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Updated: Male body recovered along Merrimack River in Manchester

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 20. 2013 6:20PM
Manchester Police work the scene at 280 Riverdale in Manchester Sunday evening. (MARK BOLTON/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER -- Police recovered the body of a male on the banks of the Merrimack River off Riverdale Avenue Sunday evening, the same area where a 22-year-old city man disappeared last November.

Manchester Police Sgt. Steven Mangone said Sunday night he was unable to confirm the identity of the body until an examination was completed by the state Medical Examiner's office. That examination was expected to be concluded sometime Sunday night.

"The body had been in the water some time," said Sgt. Mantone. "We were unable to make a positive identification due to the level of decomposition. I wouldn't want to speculate on the identity of the individual, or the the cause of death at this time."

Police and fire crews responded to 280 Riverdale Ave. just after 5 p.m. Sunday, on a report of a body found in the river. Initially a rescue boat was called for, but it was waived off due to the location of the body along the river bank.

The same Riverdale Avenue neighborhood was the site of an extensive search in late November for Kody Sharp, 22, a resident of the street who was reported missing. The man, described as 6 foot,?1 inch with short blonde hair and blue eyes, was last seen outside a home on the secluded street at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 25.

At the time, members of the New Hampshire State Police and the Manchester Fire Department assisted the Manchester police in an extensive search of the Riverdale Avenue area, which includes steep, wooded embankments along the River. There were no signs of Kody at the time.

Neighbors gathered outside the home at 280 Riverdale last night were crying as they awaited word on the identity of the body.

"Kody was my neighbor, he was such a good kid," said a woman who asked that her name not be used. "He was a good kid, a good man."

Two fire trucks and four Manchester police cruisers were on scene for over two hours Sunday night. The road was blocked at 280 Riverdale Ave., with only residents being allowed to pass. The neighborhood was in darkness during the initial stages of the investigation due to an area power outage.

The last of the cruisers pulled away after the coroner's office left with the body at about 7:15 p.m.

As of 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sgt. Mantone said he could not comment whether the body recovered belonged to Kody Sharp, without positive identification from the Medical Examiner's Office.

"I have to wait until we have a confirmation from them before we release more on this," said Mantone.

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