Shelter Island police confirmed that they are awaiting results from the medical examiner to determine whether a body found washed up on a beach Tuesday is that of Dario Cholula, a 31-year-old Queens man who went missing on October 19 after taking his kayak out to fish in Sag Harbor Bay.
On Tuesday, November 8 at 4:12 p.m., Shelter Island Town Police Department was dispatched to check on a body, possibly deceased, on the beach on the south side of Mashomack Preserve, in the Smith Cove waterway of Shelter Island Sound.
Upon arriving at the scene, police confirmed that the body was indeed a deceased male, dead from an apparent drowning. Southampton Town Police Department Detectives were notified regarding a possible connection to the missing person investigation in their jurisdiction, which had yet to produce Cholula or his body.
The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office responded and removed the body for investigation into the identification and cause of death.
Identification and case status is pending as police await results from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Shelter Island police said as of Thursday morning, November 10, there has been no confirmation that the body is that of Dario Cholula, who was last seen kayaking in the bay off North Haven between 9–11 p.m. on October 19. He was reported missing the following day, on Thursday, October 20 after he did not return.
A short time later, Cholula’s red kayak was discovered partially capsized with his fishing rod inside about 1,000 feet from the home where he was staying along Ferry Road.
He entered the water in Sag Harbor Bay on that Wednesday just south of Tyndal Point — which is directly south of Smith Cove, near where the body was found — and was reportedly wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and a black sweatshirt. Cholula is a Hispanic male, about 5’ 6” and weighing 160 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes.
A search for Cholula following his disappearance included Southampton Town Marine Patrol, East Hampton Marine Patrol, Sag Harbor Marine Patrol, Suffolk County Aviation, and Southampton Town unmanned aircraft units, but they had found nothing until this body with a possible connection to the case washed up Tuesday.
Anyone with information about Cholula and his disappearance is encouraged to contact Southampton Town Police Department Detective Division at 631-728-5000; the Southampton Town Police Tips Hotline at 631-728-3454, or Tips email: [email protected].