Schenectady County

Body believed to be that of missing Latham student

Police have recovered a badly decomposed body from the Hudson River, and say it is likely to be that

A badly decomposed body was found late this afternoon in the Hudson River and Albany police say they believe it is that of Joshua Szostak, a 21-year-old college student from Latham who went missing last December.

According to Albany Public Safety Department spokesman James Miller, state police in Catskill notified Albany police that personal items located on the body, which was recovered in Greene County, indicate it is Szostak, who has been missing from Albany since Dec. 23. Miller said Szostak’s family has been notified.

The body was taken to St. Peter’s Hospital where an autopsy is scheduled on Wednesday. Miller said authorities expect they will be able to officially identify the body and determine the cause of death at that time. He said the investigation is now being handled jointly by Albany and state police.

Szostak was last seen on North Pearl Street in Albany shortly after midnight on Dec. 23. He had been drinking with friends at the Bayou Cafe. His cellphone was recovered on the ground near where a state Department of Environmental Conservation vehicle had been stolen. The vehicle was found about a half-mile away.

His family suspected foul play and believed he was walking from the Bayou Cafe back to his car, parked near the Elbo Room on Delaware Avenue, when he was robbed or attacked.

On Dec. 26, more than 200 police officers and volunteers searched the grounds and waterfront near the southern end of the Port of Albany, but found no signs of Szostak.

A student at Hudson Valley Community College, Szostak planned to return to SUNY-Plattsburgh, where he had been studying journalism.

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