UPDATE: Sept. 8, 2012 -Authorities have confirmed that the torso recovered from the Niagara Gorge below the Horseshoe Falls belongs to Loretta Jo Gates and was confirmed by DNA testing, the Erie County Central Police Services Forensic Laboratory reported to the Buffalo News.
“It is disturbing, and we don’t have any indication on a motive at this time,” said Niagara Falls Police Capt. William Thomson ,who encourages anyone who may have seen or had contact with Gates before her disappearance early on Aug. 26 to contact detectives at 716-286-4553.
Gates’ death is classified as a homicide.
UPDATE: September 6, 2012 – Police have recovered a torso in the Niagara River. The family believe it may belong to missing Loretta. Initial investigation said the victim was a white female between 31 and 55.
“They told my mom and dad that hopefully she’ll come home tomorrow, or the next day. But they told them to prepare for the worst because of what happened, that things match up,” said Lisa Gates, Loretta’s sister.
The family told News 4’s that the torso had a belly-button piercing that had closed up, Loretta had one as well and the torso had a cesarean scar and Loretta has had a cesarean during at least one of her pregnancies.
DNA will be used to confirm identity.
Loretta Gates, 30, has been missing since August 25. Loretta lived with her mother and she has three children. Loretta works as a supervisor at a model agency in Cheektowaga, N.Y.
State Police have subpoenaed the cell phone records of Gates, to see who she may have spoken to the night she disappeared, reports WIVB news.
Loretta, who lived with her mother, left on August 25th for a store across the street and that was the last time she was seen.
Thursday would have been Loretta’s youngest’s first day of kindergarten. Loretta’s father Art Gates said, “First school year, she would have wanted to be there so bad.”