Police recovered missing Simon Business School Professor Heikki Rantakari’s body from the Genesee River midday Tuesday.
Just before 11 a.m., Rochester police received a report of a body spotted in the water near the Inner Loop bridge. After RPD confirmed the report, their scuba unit retrieved the body, which was turned over to the Monroe County Office of the Medical Examiner for identification.
RPD confirmed Wednesday that the body was Rantakari’s. They said their investigation did not indicate any criminal activity. His cause of death is still undetermined.
“While we are grateful to the investigators and search teams for his recovery, we are heartbroken to have to share this news with you, Heikki’s colleagues, friends, and students,” Simon Business School Dean Sevin Yeltekin said in an email sent to Simon students and faculty around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The 44-year-old professor has been missing since Oct. 21, when he was uncharacteristically absent from a game theory class he was scheduled to teach that morning. Police said Friday they found video of him falling into the river from the Bragdon Place pedestrian bridge just upstream from High Falls.
He was last spotted at his Airbnb on Exchange and Riverview at 9 p.m. the night before, RPD Captain Greg Bello said Wednesday. His flight had landed in Rochester two hours earlier. He was also a visiting professor of applied economics at MIT, so he lived in Boston but commuted to Rochester whenever he was scheduled to teach at the University.
Simon will be holding a memorial in Rantakari’s honor, Yeltekin said in her email. The date has yet to be announced.
“For those who had the privilege of knowing him, Heikki was not only a brilliant scholar and accomplished researcher but also an exceptionally dedicated teacher, whose passion for nurturing the growth of his students was unwavering,” wrote Yeltekin.