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A Year After Teen’s Body Discovered in River, Humphrey Family Still Searching for Answers


SCHENECTADY — A year‍ has passed since the tragic discovery of Samantha Humphrey’s body in the Mohawk River near Riverside ​Park. The loved ones of the young girl continue to seek answers⁣ and closure regarding her mysterious⁢ disappearance and untimely death.

On a​ bleak day, February ⁣22, ‌2023, the body of the 14-year-old was ⁣retrieved from the river. An autopsy later confirmed the identity of the girl who had vanished from the same park three months ⁤earlier.

Jeff Humphrey, Samantha’s father, and ‌his son ⁣Matt were in North Carolina on⁣ that​ fateful day. They were preparing to return home when they received the devastating news that Samantha’s ​body had been found in the Mohawk River. ⁤An anonymous fisherman had⁤ discovered the body, and five⁢ days later, police confirmed it was Samantha.

“The news‍ was incredibly surreal,” Humphrey recalled. “That was when the reality truly ⁤sank ⁣in. After three months of her⁤ disappearance ⁣and the police focusing solely on the river, we had a‌ gut ⁤feeling‍ that it wouldn’t ‍end well. But it wasn’t until⁣ we received the confirmation that⁣ we resolved to​ seek justice for her.”

Eric Clifford, Schenectady Police Chief, maintains regular‌ contact with Jeff ​Humphrey and Samantha’s grandparents about the ongoing investigation. The case was quickly classified as a homicide after Samantha’s body was identified, but no arrests have been ‌made so far.

“We have a dedicated detective working full-time ‌on this ⁢case because it’s of utmost importance to us,” Clifford stated on Wednesday. “On anniversaries like this, we reflect on the loss of⁢ Samantha from our community. We are committed to seeing justice served.”

Despite the Humphrey family offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Samantha’s killer via billboards in Schenectady, Clifford‌ reported no significant increase ‍in tips ⁣to the police⁢ hotline.

Samantha was a ninth-grade student at Schenectady High School before her disappearance. Her obituary poignantly ⁤stated, “[Humphrey] lost a short ‌but fierce‌ battle with evil itself, and passed into eternity. ‌Sammy, born in Metairie, ⁢La., leaves behind a host of heartbroken family and‌ friends who will remember her⁤ with both joy and sorrow until they meet again.”

On ⁢February 4, ‌what would have been Samantha’s 16th birthday, her family and friends held a celebration ⁢of life. Jeff‌ Humphrey played records at the​ event, a ⁤shared passion between him and his​ daughter.

“Sam and I both ⁤loved music and​ played records, ⁣so I brought⁣ a couple of inexpensive turntables and played music while people​ reminisced,” ⁢Jeff Humphrey shared.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact the Schenectady police tip line at (518) 788-6566.

“Our longing for Sam hasn’t diminished since‍ the moment she‍ disappeared,” Jeff‌ Humphrey said on Tuesday. “We strive to live the best life we can in her memory. To do anything less than fight for⁣ her and appreciate life every day would be a dishonor — and we won’t allow that.”

Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres, a native of Schenectady, has returned to his hometown after several years of reporting in the Midwest. A graduate of Missouri School of Journalism, Alex is known for his empathetic approach to local news, covering everything from community events to local governance, always with an aim to bridge diverse perspectives.
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  1. I agree with the Humphrey family’s continued search for answers. It’s important for closure and justice to be served in cases like these.


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