SELKIRK – Firefighters pulled the body of a missing Albany woman from the Hudson River near Henry Hudson Park on Tuesday, July 11.
The body was identified as Okelly Yhap, 29. Yhap was last seen on Sunday, July 9, in Albany. Albany police issued a statement the day after she went missing.
Calls to 911 from two sailboats on the river came in at approximately 11:33 a.m. for a body floating one eighth of a mile north of the park on the east side of the river.
Bethlehem police, Delmar-Bethlehem EMS, Albany County Sheriff’s Department and Selkirk Fire Department were dispatched to the scene.
“We dock our boat on the south end of the [Henry Hudson] park, so it was close for us,” Selkirk Fire Chief Tom Neri said. “The Sheriff’s Department sent their boat up from Ravena, and we both commenced a search of the river.”
The Selkirk boat did not locate Yhap on the first trip down the river, and there was limited information from the callers about the exact location. Selkirk met up with the Sheriff’s Department boat well to the south of the park and together they headed north and eventually Selkirk located the body.
“We had a member of EMS and a Bethlehem police officer on board, which is required as a witness when we pull someone out,” Neri said. “It is easier now that the Bethlehem police have body cameras.”
The boats returned to the fishing dock at Henry Hudson Park and the Albany County Coroner took possession of the body for an investigation.
The Times Union reported on July 10 that Yhap was vulnerable because her family reported she was hearing impaired, had a history of depression, and had been off her medication. She was last seen at 5:30 a.m. Sunday on Alexander Street, between Clinton and Elizabeth streets.
Yhap was the older sister of Katrina Thomas, who was 10-years-old when she was killed by a stray bullet in 2008, the paper reported.
This is the second of three bodies pulled from the stretch of the Hudson River from Troy to Bethlehem over the past seven days.
The two others were pulled out near Troy, one on Saturday, July 15 and the other on Wednesday, July 12. Both are under investigation.
This story appeared on page 3 of the July 19, 2023 print edition of the Spotlight