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Police ID dead man found in stolen car in Erie Canal

North Tonawanda Police on Monday said the dead man found in a stolen car that sank in the Erie Canal was Rufus Rogers, 42, of Buffalo.

The death was determined to be suicide, with drowning listed as the cause, police said.

The car, which was reported stolen from a Hertel Avenue gas station in Buffalo at 7:33 p.m. Saturday, sank Saturday night shortly after police received a report at 10:58 p.m. about a car floating in the canal near the Service Drive boat docks, according to North Tonawanda Police Capt. Thomas Krantz.

"The (Niagara County) medical examiner has ruled it a suicide by drowning," said Krantz. "We will not have toxicology back for about anywhere up to four months."

Krantz said the car was stolen from a location near where Rogers resided.

"We have not located any family members. That is the delay in why we did not release his name. We did have identification on him. We have tried for the last two days to find any family members," Krantz added.

Surveillance cameras showed that Rogers had parked the car on the street east of the boat docks on Sweeney Street near Service Drive and stayed there for approximately 35 minutes before the car went into the canal, police said.

Police find dead man in stolen car that sank in Erie Canal

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