The body found Friday by a local fisherman in Lake Ontario has been identified as that of Max Maisel, the 21-year-old son of ESPN writer Ivan Maisel, the Democrat and Chronicle reports. The RIT student had been missing since Feb. 22; he was last spotted at Charlotte Pier in Rochester, NY, and had been presumed drowned. "We knew this day would come, and we are relieved that it has," a statement released by Maisel's family states, per the D&C. "But it is merely the postscript to our sad story. We have mourned Max from the night that the Rochester police called to tell us he was missing." RIT issued its own statement yesterday that reads in part, "We take comfort that there is now some closure for [Max's family and friends] and they will be able to bring Max home."
Maisel's family, which had already held a memorial service for him at the end of March in Connecticut, previously said that circumstantial evidence indicates their son intended to take his own life, though a cause of death hasn't yet been established. In the statement signed by his dad and mom Meg Murray, the family goes on to thank the Coast Guard, the local police, and other officials who helped with their case. They also recall Maisel's love of photography and stress that, even though they're relieved this part of the tragedy is over, the sting of his absence will persist. "We must get on with living with this hole in our lives," the statement reads. "Death cannot take away the love we continue to have for our son and the love that our daughters have for their brother. … And we have said how desperately we miss him. That will not go away." Read excerpts from Ivan Maisel's moving eulogy for Max. (Read more body stories.)