A diver enters the Nashua River on Thursday while attempting to retrieve a body from the water behind Margarita's Restaurant. (Kimberly Houghton)
Police remove man's body from Nashua River
The pedestrian contacted authorities, and police and fire personnel arrived on the scene around 1:30 p.m. below the dam behind Margarita's Restaurant.
A small crowd of spectators gathered to watch as a dive team prepared to enter the water and retrieve the body.
The body of the adult male was stuck on a large branch protruding from the water, according to Lt. Michael Moushegian.
"The current is pretty swift, so they are trying to figure out how to remove him. It is deeper than they initially thought," Moushegian said at the scene.
Divers used ropes to detach the shirtless body from the branch and eventually pull it onto the shore before it was lifted onto a stretcher, up a ladder and over an embankment around 4:30 p.m.
"At this point we don't know who it is," Moushegian said late Thursday afternoon. Police are not speculating on the identity of the body, but did say that a person was reported missing in February while taking his dog for a walk along the river.
It is too early in the investigation to determine whether the missing person from this past winter is connected to the body found in the river on Thursday, Moushegian said.
Dagualberto Arzuaga, 43, was reported missing in February after walking a relative's dog near Mine Falls Park. Although the dog returned home, Arzuaga never did, prompting police to search the area and send a dive team into the Nashua River nearly two months ago.
Despite the search, Arzuaga was never located, and has been missing ever since.
Rich McLaughlin, the state's deputy medical examiner, was at the scene on Thursday, and police said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the man's cause of death.
The man's identity and cause of death were not expected to be released Thursday night, according to Moushegian, who said it is too premature to say whether the incident is criminal, accidental or intentional.
The body, as it was pulled from the river, appeared to be wearing jeans and boots, but no shirt.
John Hanlon of Hudson was having his car repaired nearby and stopped to see what all of the commotion was about Thursday afternoon near the water's edge.
"I saw a lot of fire trucks and cop cars and I thought they were probably doing some type of exercise or training," said Hanlon.
"It would be surprising if there was any foul play involved," said Hanlon, who has lived in the area for about 15 years and never knew a pathway existed along the Nashua River behind Margarita's Restaurant and the Nashua Public Library.
Earlier this year in the same vicinity, city police responded twice to Black Bridge, an old covered bridge near the railroad trestle, for two unrelated suicides.