Police: Missing Kearny woman found in Passaic River, cause of death likely suicide


The body of a Kearny woman that had been missing since Thursday morning was recovered from the Passaic River the following day and a hand-written suicide note was found at her home, police said. 

Rosa Lescano. Photo courtesy of the Kearny Police Department.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

On February 15th at 12:31 a.m., Rosa A. Lescano’s adult daughter reported to police that her 66-year-old mother had been missing from home since around 10:00 a.m. the prior day, the KPD wrote on their Facebook page.

She also reported that her mother does not drive and had left her cellular phone at home. Hours later, detectives learned that another family member had found a hand-written suicide note in the home, authorities said.

An investigation was immediately opened upon the filing of the initial report and inquiries were made with surrounding police departments and hospitals.

Officers were sent to canvas places frequented by Lescano and a digital bulletin was forwarded to area police departments containing a photo of her and information pertinent to the investigation.

Furthermore, Lescano was entered as a missing person in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), a database which is accessible by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

While the KPD made a Facebook post to engage the public in generating tips and leads, this measure was unsuccessful.

Detectives requested the assistance of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit a sheriff’s bloodhound tracking dog led the detectives to the Passaic River in Kearny.

From there, police detectives then began searching the Passaic River by boat.

At approximately 11:19 a.m. on February 15th, detectives located a deceased adult female in the river near the Clay Street Bridge between East Newark and Newark.

The woman’s body was recovered with the assistance of the Newark Police Emergency Service Unit and a death pronouncement was made by paramedics from MONOC EMS.

Earlier this evening, the police department received notification from the Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office that the woman recovered from the river on February 15 was positively identified as Lescano.

As in all cases of this nature, the cause and manner of death are pending a full report by the medical examiner. Preliminarily results indicate that no foul play is suspected.

The department also sent their condolences to the family and friends of Lescano and noted that they withheld details of the investigation until the medical examiner identified the body as Lescano.

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