The tragic case of Cemal Cansev

Cemal Cansev, a 16-year-old boy from New York City, was listed on Charley for a long time. He just vanished into thin air. The police suspected he was a runaway, but his family said he would never have done that. And so the matter rested, for over seven years.

I resolved Cemal’s case a month or so ago. NCMEC reported he was found deceased, and I found his sister’s Twitter page where she said he’d been found drowned just a few days after he was reported missing. She was angry that the family didn’t find out his fate sooner. But I couldn’t find any articles about it. Until now.

The Daily Mail, a British newspaper (close to a tabloid) has written about the case. Cemal was found drowned off a pier just ten days after he was last seen, but the body was thought to be from a 25-year-old Asian (Cemal was Turkish). Since it says the body was still listed as a John Doe, I’m assuming the article means the coroner thought he was Asian and about 25, not that it was identified as a specific 25-year-old Asian guy.

Recently, the NYPD got federal money and was able to test all their John and Jane Does against DNA provided by families of missing people. And so Cemal was identified. Where he was in the intervening ten days is anyone’s guess.

The family is suing the city, saying the investigation was inept and Cemal could and should have been identified much sooner.

It is an exceptionally sad story. Cemal’s dad traveled all over New York City and across the country looking for his son. I hope the family has found some kind of peace knowing his fate now. I certainly don’t blame them for being angry that their uncertainty lasted as long as it did.