Water rescue team members tow Cody Wilkenson’s swamped power boat to shore on March 27, 2014.
Water rescue team members tow Cody Wilkenson's swamped power boat to shore on March 27, 2014.

An autopsy Tuesday morning failed to determine the identity of a man's body found at the Holtwood Dam in Lancaster County, police said.

Hellam Township Police Chief Mark Sowers said it remains unclear whether the body is that of Cody Wilkenson, 42, of Acco Lane in Hellam Township.

"We're still working on the identification," he said.

Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said investigators are looking for Wilkenson's dental records to do a comparison.

He said he doesn't know how long it might take to find those records.

Drowned: The autopsy determined the victim drowned accidentally, Diamantoni said.

The body could have been in the Susquehanna River anywhere from a few days to weeks, he said.

Wilkenson
Wilkenson

"The rate of decomposition certainly slowed, being in very cold water," the coroner said.

Wilkenson and his Chester County girlfriend, Elizabeth Dorsaneo, 55, of Thorndale, were last seen in his boat about 5:40 p.m. March 20 in the Lake Clarke area of the Susquehanna River, police said.

Half sunk: Wilkenson's 15-foot fiberglass boat was found half sunk by a boater on March 22.

The same boater told police he saw the boat again March 23 and towed it to a sandbar south of Green Island so it didn't completely sink and become a hazard, Sowers confirmed. The boater said he called the state Fish and Boat Commission that weekend, but didn't get an answer.

The ignition was in the "on" position and the boat was in reverse gear when police recovered it, Sowers said.

Nothing on the boat suggested Wilkenson or Dorsaneo were victims of foul play, and investigators suspect they drowned after falling into, or being thrown into, the water, the chief has said.

Cold water: At the time the couple went missing, the water temperature of the river was about 40 degrees, meaning without proper gear a person would begin to suffer symptoms of hypothermia within minutes — and those symptoms likely would have rendered them unable to climb back into the boat, Sowers said.

Dorsaneo
Dorsaneo

Wilkenson's boat was in poor repair, with pieces missing, police have said. His vehicle and attached boat trailer were found by police at Lock 2 on Lake Clarke, police have said.

Second body: The body found at Holtwood Dam was the second body found in the Susquehanna River on Monday.

The first was found about noon in Middle Paxton Township, Dauphin County, according to state police. The area is several miles upriver of Lake Clarke.

It also is a man's body and was found naked by a fisherman, state police said.

An autopsy on that body is scheduled for Wednesday morning, according to the Dauphin County Coroner's Office.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.


This photo was taken by the boater who first found Cody Wilkenson’s boat. The man, who has declined to be named, said he towed the boat to a sandbar
This photo was taken by the boater who first found Cody Wilkenson's boat. The man, who has declined to be named, said he towed the boat to a sandbar to keep it from sinking and becoming a hazard. (Submitted)