Police ID man who died while swimming in Hackensack River

Jose Cortez, 39, was the man whose body was pulled from the Hackensack River on Tuesday

Police have identified the man whose body was pulled from the Hackensack River Tuesday, three days after he disappeared during a swim.

Jose Cortez, 39, of Hackensack, was pulled from the river about 3 p.m. by divers and other rescue workers, according to police Capt. Frank Aquila.

“Cortez had not been seen since he entered the water on Sunday,” Aquila said in an email. “His body was discovered in close proximity to where he had originally entered the river.”

An autopsy will be performed by the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office, Aquila said.

Aquila said Cortez entered the river about 3 p.m. Sunday near 80 South River Street over the protests of two friends. The friends told police Cortez was swimming toward Bogota.

“It was reported the victim began struggling to remain above water and disappeared below the surface,” Aquila said.

The friends searched the area for more than an hour. The victim’s nephew called police after he failed to return home, Aquila said.

The river and surrounding banks were searched by Hackensack police and fire department, members of the Bogota Police Department, Maywood’s K9 unit, a New Jersey State Police helicopter, members of the Bergen Regional Scuba Task Force, and the Parsippany Rescue and Recovery Squad.

“Our deepest condolences go out to (Cortez’s) family. I would like to thank all agencies that assisted,” Aquila said.

Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at tattrino@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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