Reservoir body identified: Many unanswered questions

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s been a long two months of searching for the family of Abdullahi Muya. News10NBC spoke with his family about a month ago, as they were desperately searching for answers.

And even with the news that his body was recovered from the Highland Park Reservoir, there are still many unanswered questions.

Officials say it was a cold morning on February 24, when Muya got past the gate of the reservoir. No one else was there. They say he slid down the side of the reservoir, into the water, and sunk to the bottom.

The city has thermal and motion detectors, and cameras from many different angles, but this still went unnoticed. The question is, why?

About a month ago, Muya’s brother spoke with our Marsha Augustin. He called the newsroom, desperate for answers on where his brother could be. He told us his brother needed his daily medication for health reasons.

City officials say the early morning hours of February 24, is when Muya entered the reservoir. They believe he climbed over the tall gates, before sliding in. The reservoir is currently being drained, and the city lifted a water boil notice early Thursday morning. Mayor Malik Evans said that tests showed that the water quality was never affected.

It’s unclear why Muya ended up at Highland Park. There are cameras showing many different angles at the reservoir, but they aren’t monitored 24/7. There are two detection systems, motion and thermal. Despite all of that, there was a flaw, and no one knew Muya had been at the park until his body was discovered.

“This area is so sensitive, that it can even alert us if a windstorm is coming, and yet we did not know that Mr. Muya had gotten into the area, or that he had entered the water,” said Mayor Evans. “We regularly test the water to make sure it is safe, none of the data we collected has indicated any issues, in our water supply.”

The gates are 15 feet tall, according to the mayor. The city says it’s considering a few different plans of action. One, would allow for covers on the reservoirs. That idea has been discussed for years.

Once the Highland Park Reservoir is drained, it will be sanitized. The process should take about eight weeks.