Body found in Maumee River in Ohio ID’d as missing Fort Wayne man

Local News
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Photo (Courtesy Bart Teeters)

DEFIANCE, Ohio ( WANE) The identify of a man found dead in the Maumee River back in May in Defiance County, Ohio has been determined following an investigation by multiple agencies.

Monday morning the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office issued a news release indicating the body has been positively identified as Jabari Mbwelera, 27, of Fort Wayne. Mbwelera had been reported missing on January 23, 2019 after several days passed without him contacting his family and friends.

Just over four months on May 24, 2019 his body was pulled from the Maumee in Defiance County near the S.R. 127 bridge, just south of the village of Sherwood.

Because of how long he’d been in the water and the lack of any personal items on him at the time, the Sheriff’s Office initially thought they were looking for a white man and had to try and rely on his tattoos to find out who he was.

The positive identification was made through the use of DNA by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The case has been turned over to the Fort Wayne Police Department for follow up.

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