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Dive teams pull SUV, two bodies from Genesee River

2-15-18 tow truck.jpg
2-15-18 tow truck.jpg

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Dive teams and investigators say they have recovered an SUV and two bodies from the Genesee River near Lake Ontario Thursday morning.

The recovery efforts were part of a search for Robert and Mary Ross, a couple who went missing from Perinton more than two weeks ago.

The car was located Wednesday afternoon by divers with the Monroe County SCUBA team. Dive teams confirmed Thursday morning that the SUV was a Kia Sorrento with the license plate 'BLUSTERY' - matching the description of the vehicle driven by the Rosses.

The bodies of one man and one woman were recovered from the SUV while divers were on scene. Monroe County Sheriff's investigators said they believe those bodies are Robert and Mary Ross, but will work with the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office to identify them definitively. Both bodies were located in the front seat of the vehicle.

"By no means are we complete at this point," said Monroe County Chief Deputy Michael Fowler. "There are a lot of unanswered questions."

Crews worked to pull the SUV up from the river bed to the surface using air bags to make the vehicle buoyant so it could be floated to a nearby boat ramp and towed back to the parking lot for investigators. The bodies were also brought to the surface and are in the care of the Monroe County Medical Examiner.

The SUV was initially located with side-sonar from a boat checking the area and was stuck in the mud at the bottom of the river near The Pelican's Nest. The vehicle was approximately 18-20 feet below the surface of the water.

The Rochester Police and Monroe County Sheriff’s SCUBA teams worked in the water with the U.S. Customs Enforcement Marine Unit.

Robert & Mary Ross had not been seen since January 30. Investigators said Robert was last seen at a doctor's appointment that day, but did not show up for subsequent medical appointments. A missing persons report was filed on February 5.

The couple's son met with Sheriff's deputies Thursday night. Robert Ross, Jr. says he is back in Rochester and is working with authorities to identify the bodies that were in the SUV.

Deputies say it's too early to say how long the vehicle was in the water. They continue to ask for anyone with information to come forward.

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