The body of Jimmy Slack, , was recovered Monday afternoon on the shore of the Ohio River, Bridgeville police Chief Chad King confirmed.
Pittsburgh police were called to an area near the Carnegie Science Center at around 1:30 p.m. and the description of the person’s clothing matched what Slack was wearing when he disappeared Dec. 7. Pittsburgh police Sgt. Joe Gannon said a crew on a boat that was pulling up to the shore noticed the body and called 911.
King notified the family at their Bridgeville home shortly after.
“It was very emotional,” King said. "I think they were still holding out to hope that he would come home.”
Police are waiting for an autopsy to determine how Slack died. It’s not immediately clear if his death is considered suspicious or accidental.
Slack, who graduated from Chartiers Valley High School in 2004 and was living with his parents in Bridgeville, had gone to a String Cheese Incident concert at Stage AE on the North Side. He was separated from a friend, Paulette Beadling, who left with another person when she tried but failed to find him. Slack later exchanged numerous text messages and phone calls with her before disappearing.
Family members became concerned when he didn’t return or answer calls to his cell phone. They said he was getting ready to return to his job working on a barge, and that he would never want to miss his niece’s birthday that weekend.
The family and investigators launched an extensive search that canvassed the North Side and placed fliers across the region. Slack’s family continued to hold out hope for his safe return even as few clues emerged, and offered a $5,000 reward for information that led to his location. They also launched a Facebook page and Twitter account to spread information about the missing man.
The Bridgeville community came together on Dec. 22 when at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Bridgeville. His parents, James and Donna, and sisters, Maureen Shields and Laura Slack, greeted each of them with hugs and tears.
“The comfort was people looking for him and genuinely caring about him,” Donna Slack said that night. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this (without them).”