Cold case closed: Victim identified 20 years after body found by Delaware River

One man's family can finally find some closure after genealogy revealed a long-awaited break in a 20-year-old cold case in Bucks County.

Two fishermen discovered the body of a man on the banks of the Delaware River near State Road on October 19, 2003.

He had no identification, and didn't match any descriptions of missing people in the area or fingerprints in the national database.

No trauma was found on his body, and his cause of death was ruled a drowning, according to an autopsy. However, his manner of death was never determined.

The unidentified male was buried in the Doylestown Cemetery as police unsuccessfully attempted to identify him for the next 19 years.


In December 2022, a DNA profile was obtained using hair samples.

An investigative genetic genealogy search eventually led investigators to Edward Nece from Riverside, New Jersey.

Nece told investigators he hadn't heard from his son, Edward Anthony Nece, for 20 years.

The revelation came on October 19, 2023 - exactly 20 years after the body was discovered.

A DNA match later confirmed that the drowning victim was Nece's son, Edward.