NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Thirty-year-old Loretta Gates has been missing since August 25th. Gates' family is desperately searching for her by hanging up posters all across the City of Niagara Falls, hoping someone knows something about the mother of three's whereabouts.
Meanwhile, police on both sides of the border are investigating whether a woman's torso found in the water near the Rainbow Bridge was that of Loretta Gates. Canadian Authorities had ruled out approximately 50 missing person cases on their side of the border, and they believe the woman is from the U.S.
State Police have subpoenaed the cell phone records of Gates, to see who she may have spoken to the night she disappeared. Loretta, who lived with her mother, left on August 25th for a store across the street and has not been seen since.
The Gates family told News 4 that Loretta is a recovering addict and has been clean and on the right path for the last three and a half years. Loretta had been working to get custody of her three children, ages 11, five and four. Thursday would have been her youngest's first day of kindergarten.
Loretta's father Art Gates said, "First school year, she would have wanted to be there so bad."
"They told my mom and dad that hopefully she'll come home tomorrow, or the next day. But they told them to prepare for the worst because of what happened, that things match up," said Lisa Gates, Loretta's sister.
The family told News 4's Ed Drantch that the two things that match up perfectly are the fact that the torso had a belly-button piercing that had closed up, Loretta had one as well. In addition, the torso had a cesarean scar and Loretta has had a cesarean during at least one of her pregnancies.
Family members have submitted DNA samples to determine if the torso in the Niagara River was the body of Loretta Gates.
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