A sad story in this newsletter on September 29 reported the death of Ryan Taylor, a long-time professional genealogist and recently an employee of the Genealogy Department of the Allen County Pubic Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At that time, the body had been "tentatively" identified as being that of 56-year-old Ryan Taylor. A coroner's report has now confirmed the identification and also has shed a little bit of light on the cause of death.
Taylor was on a trip to Toronto to host a new genealogy program, called "Ancestors in the Attic," for Canada's History Television channel. He was reported missing from his hotel room on Monday, September 24. The following day, a body was pulled from the Niagara River in New York, roughly 85 miles from Toronto and close to Niagara Falls. Pathologists in Buffalo, New York, used Taylor's dental records to verify the identity of the remains. The pathologists also stated that he had died by drowning.
Investigators with the Niagara County Sheriff's Department believe Taylor may have bought a Sunday bus ticket from Toronto to the Niagara Falls area. However, they have not yet announced any reason why he would buy a ticket to Niagara Falls instead of showing up on Monday for the filming of the television series he hosted.
After reading the coroner's report, police stated that they do not suspect foul play in connection with Taylor's drowning. However, the coroner's office has not yet determined whether his death was an accident or suicide. Toronto police had stated earlier that Taylor suffered from diabetes and depression, which required him to take medication daily. While not mentioned in the very brief police report, one can speculate that perhaps the coroner's office is waiting for the results of blood tests before making further announcements.
No funeral arrangements have been made. Ryan Taylor's relatives plan to have a small family ceremony soon, with a memorial service in Canada to follow. His friends and colleagues in Fort Wayne will most likely conduct another memorial service.