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Decomposed body found in Falls identified; two men charged

NIAGARA FALLS – A Lockport man was arraigned Thursday in Niagara Falls City Court on a second-degree murder charge, related to the death of a man being identified by authorities as Daniel Sparks.

Sparks' decomposed body was found Tuesday afternoon in overgrown bushes and debris off Mackenna Avenue, according to Niagara Falls police.

James W. Howard, 27, was ordered held without bail in Niagara County Jail, according to police.

According to city police, Sparks, 44, had been reported missing on Nov. 1, and his family had said they had not seen him since early October.

The Erie County Medical Examiner's Office is continuing forensic work to confirm that the body is Sparks, Niagara Falls police said.

The victim had been stabbed 27 times in the torso and upper legs, according to police.

Also, Carl M. Hosmer, 29, of Niagara Falls, has been charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence in the case, Niagara Falls police officials reported Thursday.

An investigation is ongoing, police said.

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