Only days after his parents made a tearful plea for help in finding their son, police identified a body found this morning on the shore of the Chelsea River in East Boston as the missing Albany, N.Y., man suffering from diabetes.
The body of David Mark, 24, was found by a passerby just before 8 a.m. on the shore of city-owned land between Urban Wild, a local walking park, and a commercial fishing business off Condor Street, near Meridian Street. Police said there were no obvious signs of trauma, and that an autopsy will be conducted.
Mark’s parents made emotional, impassioned pleas on Saturday and Sunday for the public’s assistance in finding their son, who had been missing since last Wednesday.
His parents had worried that the Type 1 diabetes patient did not have enough insulin and could become disoriented or lapse into a coma. In addition, Mark’s father told the Globe that his son had Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder that affects social interaction.
The father, Robert Mark, said tonight that his family was thankful for the support from everyone who helped to try and find their son.
‘‘We deeply appreciate the many people who were looking for David,’’ an emotional Robert Mark said. ‘‘The police, the public, and the news media. All the people who called the police with tips. The Boston Beerworks, who answered my fax, that helped the police have some idea of where to look, all the hard work the Newton police did in trying to find him, and the person who sighted his body in the water.’’
Robert Mark said he was also grateful for the outpouring of support from many local residents, including those that passed out posters with David’s picture on it and others who posted his missing status on Facebook.
‘‘There’s been a lot of love and generosity and we appreciate it, even though we’re not particularly important,’’ Robert Mark said. ‘‘David was a wonderful and loving person and I’m glad all these people tried to help to find our son.’’
Robert Mark said his son had been coming to Boston since an early age and that he loved the city.
‘‘He was here in Boston, I’m sure because he loved it so much here,’’ he said. ‘‘He loved the people here, the food here, the sports here. Mainly the sports and how the people treated you.’’
David Mark had intended to visit his sister in Newton, his parents thought. Newton police investigated aggressively when he turned up missing after they discovered his car on Middlesex Road.
‘‘We followed up every lead we could,’’ said Newton police Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker tonight after learning the news.
Mark was last seen at the Boston Beerworks restaurant in the Fenway last Wednesday. Apotheker said that after consulting with wireless companies, police were able to determine David Mark’s phone was at a location about 1.5 miles northeast of a cell tower in Charlestown, at 6:40 that night. The trail went cold after that.
The rising tide early today apparently lifted the body onto shore, and the body started to drift again when the tide went out. By then, authorities had been notified and firefighters retrieved the body from the water.
The area is downstream from the Andrew McArdle Bridge.
Louis Silvestro, vice president of Channel Fish Co., said a consultant for his company first noticed the body and notified authorities. Silvestro said the body apparently drifted along the river.
’’It could have come from anywhere,’’ he said.
Robert Mark said his son was ‘‘brilliant’’ and that he had earned a master’s degree in geography from the State University of New York at Albany.
‘‘He was a kind loving person with a wonderful sense of humor,’’ he said.
Milton J. Valencia of the Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent Neal J. Riley contributed to this report. John M. Guilfoil can be reached at email@example.com and Stewart Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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