Body recovered from river identified

NEW CUMBERLAND – The female body recovered April 16 from the Ohio River, near East Liverpool, has been officially identified as Sharone Napua Nakoa, 32, of Monaca, Pa.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office issued the announcement early Monday afternoon after being advised around 9:45 a.m. by the West Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office that a positive identification had been made.

Nakoa was reported missing Feb. 19, 2014, by the Monaca Police Department.

According to previous media reports, a photograph of a tattoo on the body was initially sent to Nakoa’s mother, Patsey Nakoa, for identification purposes.

Pittsburgh-based television station WPXI (Channel 11) also previously reported that Patsey Nakoa said her daughter, the mother of three children, was believed to be on her way to pick up her son from the home of a relative.

Despite the official identification released Monday, nothing on the cause of death has been reported. That investigation continues, according to reports.

Preliminary identification of the woman was first made through personal items located at the time of the recovery, but the sheriff’s office did not release the woman’s name until she was positively identified and her family was notified.

At 3:35 p.m. April 16, the Hancock County 911 Dispatch Center received a report from East Liverpool police of a body found near the East Liverpool dry docks. Hancock County sheriff’s deputies and Chester police were dispatched as West Virginia has jurisdiction on incidents involving the waterway.

The body apparently had been seen floating in the river by workers at the dry dock facility, which is just downriver from the Jennings Randolph Bridge.

The Chester Volunteer Fire Department was called and deployed two boats for the recovery operation. From a staging area at the Chester City Park boat ramp, the body first was taken to Weirton Medical Center, then to the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston.