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Police: Body recovered from Ithaca Falls Gorge was incoming Cornell freshman

Search continues for missing person in Ithaca Falls.

Ithaca Police have confirmed that a New York State dive team recovered a body from Ithaca Falls Gorge around 7:20 p.m. Saturday.

The victim was identified as Winston Perez-Ventura, an incoming freshman at Cornell University, from the Bronx.

Around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Ithaca Police were called to Ithaca Falls near Fall Creek Drive after reports that a person entered the gorge waters to swim but never came out.

Officers from IPD, the Cornell University Police Department, and the Ithaca Fire Department searched the gorges and waterways that filter into the Ithaca Falls to search the area. Members of the New York State Police participated in the search, including the use of a New York State Police helicopter and New York State Police dive team.

Perez-Ventura was preparing to begin his studies at the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and s a high school student, Winston participated in The Fellowship Initiative, an enrichment program for young men of color, according to the university.

"He was an exceptional person who would have contributed greatly to our university community," the university statement said.

A gofundme page has been created to support funeral services for Perez-Ventura.

Regarding this incident Acting Chief of Police Pete Tyler stated, “The Ithaca gorges are so, so beautiful but they can be very dangerous if folks don’t obey the posted signs. I encourage everyone to please, please follow the posted signs on the gorge trails, especially those that prohibit trespassing and swimming. The signs are in place for no other reason than to keep folks safe when they enter our gorges.”

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