Sheriff says teen’s death appears to be accidental drowning

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Police believe Raymond L. Kingdollar, 17, died from an accidental drowning in the Erie Canal on Thursday night.

GAINES – A preliminary autopsy report for a teen-ager shows no trauma, marks or injuries to his body, Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower said in a news release this afternoon.

The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office is waiting for toxicology results and has listed the cause of death as “Pending” at this time.

Investigators that Raymond L. Kingdollar, 17, of Barre was riding his bike on a dark section of the canal towpath between Gaines Basin Road and the Eagle Harbor lift bridge. Kingdollar was out riding on Thursday at about 10 p.m. when it was dark. He left the Village of Albion to go see his girlfriend in Eagle Harbor.

Investigators believe that Kingdollar accidentally left the canal towpath and entered the water.

“People interviewed also told investigators that Kingdollar could not swim,” Bower said.

Kingdollar’s body was recovered from the canal at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday following a call to 911 after a civilian saw the body in the water.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, together with the Major Felony Crime Task Force and the District Attorney’s Office, conducted an extensive investigation into the events leading up to this tragic event, Bower said.

“Investigators followed up on numerous leads that came into the Sheriff’s Office including many stories that evolved out of social media,” Bower said. “Dozens of people were interviewed. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Marine Division and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Underwater Response Team scoured the area for two days searching for evidence.”

A GoFundMe account has been started to help Kingdollar’s family with funeral expenses.