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Niagara Falls' unexpected body count: One missing, one found

August 16, 2011 | 12:43 pm

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While authorities at Niagara Falls were searching this week for the body of a 19-year-old Japanese student who fell into the fast-moving waters and was presumably swept to her death, they found a body. Only, it wasn't the body they were looking for.

During the course of the search, the body of a man was recovered from the lower Niagara River at the whirlpool. An investigation into his death was underway; the woman's body has yet to be found.

Niagara Falls is a sprawling natural attraction that can be seen from both the U.S. and Canadian sides. Millions of visitors have taken in its breathtaking beauty, snapped some souvenir photos -- and lived to tell the tale. But that's not what happened for everyone Sunday at the popular tourist attraction.

The Niagara Park Police Department in Ontario, Canada, has issued a news release detailing the circumstances surrounding the woman's presumed death:

At about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, the visiting student and a friend headed out to famed Horsehoe Falls. Surveillance video shows the woman climbing over the railing and straddling it to get a better look at the falls. She was holding an umbrella at the time. "The young woman stood up in what appeared to be an attempt to climb back over when she lost her balance and fell into the waters .... " according to the statement.

"The Niagara Parks Police Service is working with the Japanese Consulate General in an effort to notify the victim's family regarding the events which have transpired. The identify of the young woman is being withheld pending this notification," the statement added.

Her body is still missing despite a widespread search by various agencies. It was during the course of that search that the second body was found.

The news release adds this admonition: "With respect to the safety wall which aligns the Niagara River Gorge the public is reminded that climbing over this wall is clearly dangerous and prohibited by the Niagara Parks Act and its regulations. Millions of visitors have viewed the scenic Niagara Falls and the Niagara River Gorge while respecting this safety wall without incident."

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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Niagara Falls as seen from the Canadian side. Credit: Don Emmert /AFP/Getty Images

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