Missing designer found dead in East River

Missing designer found dead in East River
Photo by Paul Martinka

Police pulled the swollen body of missing fashion designer James “Jay” Ott out of the New York Harbor on Thursday morning, ending a nearly two-month search for the man friends described as depressed.

Boat-equipped cops retrieved the body from the harbor at Pier 4 off of Second Avenue and 58th Street in Sunset Park at 11:12 am on May 8. It took more than 24 hours to identify the body as Ott’s.

Friends last saw Ott on the evening of March 22, and he was captured on a surveillance video entering his home in Williamsburg’s McKibbin Lofts at about 10 pm. His friends later found footage of him walking on the Williamburg Bridge.

At the time, his friends and family put out notices and fliers across the city in search of him, and warned that he suffered from depression and anxiety.

Ott worked for the Los Angeles-based fashion investment firm Dock Group and had also worked as a designer for J. Mendel and the Row. He was profiled by the entertainment website Stylelikeu in 2009.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.