Police unable to locate deceased man's family

Jan 7, 2019

North Tonawanda Police have released the name a Buffalo man who was found dead in a stolen car that was pulled from the Erie Canal over the weekend.

Rufus Rogers
Credit North Tonawanda Police

Chief of Detectives Thomas Krantz says a car driven by Rufus Rogers, 42, was reported stolen on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo early Saturday night. Just before 11 p.m. Saturday, Krantz says a call came in about a car floating in the canal off Sweeney Street near Service Drive.

First responders located the car in the Erie Canal, near the Service Drive boat docks, off Sweeney Street.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

Krantz says police have not been able to locate 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. None of his records, anywhere, that we would normally find family members, we were not able to do that. So, at this point, we still have not found a family member. I apologize to the family if they're seeing this on the news - this is how they're finding out. But we could not find anybody," Krantz said at a news conference Monday afternoon.   

Krantz says says surveillance video shows the car parked on street near the canal for about 30 minutes before it was driven down a bike path and into the water. He says Rogers' death was ruled a suicide by drowning. Toxicology results could take several months.