Authorities Appeal For Information On Cold Case

LITTLE VALLEY – Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb on Wednesday asked for any new information into the death of Traci Douglass, whose body was discovered in 2009 in the Kinzua Reservoir.

The appeal comes more than a year after the sheriff’s office used DNA testing to identify remains found in the reservoir as Douglass’. Whitcomb would not say if investigators are ruling the death as a homicide or accidental.

More than 400 leads have been investigated into Douglass’ death, the sheriff told reporters.

“It remains an open, active investigation,” he said. “Leads continue to come into this office.”

Whitcomb asked anyone who may have contacted a police agency outside the sheriff’s office to call investigators.

“I want to make it clear the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency in this death investigation,” Whitcomb said. “All leads should be coming in through one source here at the sheriff’s office.”

On Sept. 26, 2009, skeletal remains were found by a fisherman in the Kinzua Reservoir. Forensic exams at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., confirmed Douglass’ identity. Investigators believe the body had been in the water anywhere from one to five years.

Anyone with information into Douglass’ death is asked to contact cold case investigators Joe Magiera at 938-2205 or 498-3245 or John Ensell at 938-2261 or 597-4298.

See Thursday’s edition of The Post-Journal for complete coverage.