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Bodies found in river are pair who went missing in storm

September 10, 2021 GMT

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — Two bodies found in the Passaic River this week have been identified as two friends who went missing amid torrential flooding caused by Hurricane Ida, moving the storm’s death toll in the Garden State to 29.

Nidhi Rana, 18, and Ayush Rana, 21, were last seen around 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 when their car began floating toward a spot where the water flows underground toward the river. The vehicle was later found in the same area of Passaic, a few blocks away from the river.

A massive search was soon launched for the pair and continued for several days.

Nidhi Rana’s body was found in the river on Wednesday in Kearny, while Ayush Rana’s body was recovered on Thursday in the water in Newark, near the Kearny border. Their identities were confirmed Friday afternoon by the state Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida killed at least 50 people in six Eastern states after it brought historic rain that led to deadly flooding and sudden storm waters.