Share this article

print logo

Human teeth found on North Tonawanda pier prompt underwater search

NORTH TONAWANDA – Four human teeth were discovered on a pier in Gratwick Waterfront Park in North Tonawanda, raising an array of questions about how they got there, whom they belong to and what happened to the person.

The teeth, all molars, were found Thursday by a civilian on a concrete pier in the park, said North Tonawanda Detective. Lt. Karen Smith.

Police took the teeth to an area dentist, who determined that they were human. But it wasn’t clear to whom they could belong. “It could be anyone at this point,” Smith said.

Monday afternoon, a team of divers spent 2ø hours in the Niagara River near the pier looking for other clues, but it came back empty-handed.

“It’s very unusual,” Smith said of the teeth. “So as a precaution we sent in dive teams.”

The teeth were all intact, including the root and looked “fairly fresh,” Smith said, but investigators can’t tell much more – such as gender or age – until further testing is completed, including DNA.

Anyone with information about the teeth is asked to contact North Tonawanda Police at 692-4312.

It wasn’t clear whether Niagara Falls Police would be joining the investigation.

On June 16, the dismembered body of Terri Lynn Bills was found inside a vacant house in the Falls. Her head, hands and feet had been cut from her torso. She is related to Loretta Jo Gates, who was found murdered in 2012. She too had been dismembered. Her torso was found in the Niagara Gorge below Horseshoe Falls and other body parts were found in Hyde Park.

Family and friends plan to hold a candlelight vigil for Bills and Gates starting at about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday near Duck Island in Hyde Park.

email: and