The Orange Police Department and the Office of the State Medical Examiner, has identified the victim found in Lake Wepawaug in Orange on Saturday, April 12, as Vaughn Porteous, 27, of Hamden.
According to a press release issued by Asst. Police Chief Anthony Cuozzo, Porteous was believed to be involved in a motor vehicle accident on the Wilbur Cross Parkway at the Orange rest stop on March 19 and left the scene prior to Police arrival.
He was reported missing by family members on April 1.
The State’s Medical Examiner has ruled the death an accidental drowning. The Investigation will remain open pending toxicology results which can take several weeks.
On Wednesday, March 19, at about 4:45 a.m, Troop I Bethany received a report of a motor vehicle accident on Route 15 northbound near exit 56, at the entrance to the Route 15 northbound rest area in Orange.
Upon arrival, troopers found one vehicle with heavy front end damage located at the entrance to the rest area. The vehicle was crashed up against the barrels and there was damage to the metal beam guardrail. The operator of the vehicle was not with the vehicle.
Upon discovering that the vehicle was unoccupied, Troopers, assisted by Orange Police Department, searched the surrounding area which yielded negative results. State Police K9 teams also responded to assist in the search conducting K9 tracks.
Troopers located evidence at the scene that enabled them to identify the registered owner of the vehicle as Vaughn D. Porteous, 27, of Hamden.
Troopers continued their search by contacting area hospitals, responding to the Porteous’ residence and reviewing surveillance footage from outside the rest area in an attempt to determine how the operator left the scene and in which direction the operator may have traveled.
Troopers also spoke with people who were stopped at the rest area and employees who worked at the rest area. After an extensive search, Troopers believed the operator may have left the scene after getting ride from someone.
On Saturday, April 12, three weeks after the accident, the Orange Police Department responded to a report of a body found in Lake Wepawaug. The deceased was positively identified as Vaughn D. Porteous, the registered owner of the vehicle involved in the motor vehicle accident on the Wilbur Cross Parkway.
Son of Recording Artist
Vaughn was the son of Jamaican recording artist deejay Papa Biggy.