Body found in submerged car behind UMass Boston

Authorities examined a car that was found in the water near the University of Massachusetts in Boston on Saturday.
Authorities examined a car that was found in the water near the University of Massachusetts in Boston on Saturday.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

The body of a man was found just after noon Saturday in a car partially submerged in Boston Harbor behind the University of Massachusetts Boston campus, according to authorities.

The victim was a 25-year-old Lawrence man, said Suffolk district attorney spokesman Jake Wark in a statement Saturday night.

“The man’s body showed no obvious signs of violent trauma, but the cause of his death has not yet been determined,” Wark said earlier Saturday.

The car appeared to have broken through the chain-link fence that separates the roadway from the Harborwalk along the shore before entering the water, according to a statement by State Police, who were alerted to the situation by UMass Boston officials around 12:05 p.m.


“A runner on the Harborwalk this morning came across a car in the water,” said UMass spokesman DeWayne Lehman.

Lehman said the car was a silver Prius sedan with Connecticut license plates.

Officials from the UMass Boston Public Safety Department, Boston Fire Department, and Boston Emergency Medical Services were on scene, according to State Police.

A silver sedan could be seen partially submerged in the water, with a diver visible near the car.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the man was the sole occupant, said State Police in the statement.

Three firetrucks and more than a dozen police cruisers lined the road by the Harborwalk behind University Hall, an academic building that opened in January.

Two segments of a chain-link fence between the road and the shore had been knocked down.

Steven Ciano, 30, and Catherine Callahan, 22, were jogging along the Harborwalk closer to Castle Island when authorities came tearing through “like a SWAT team,” said Ciano.

They followed the emergency vehicles to the scene, they said.

“It really is a head-scratcher how that car got there, because there’s not much runway,” said Ciano, who lives in Dorchester and frequently jogs along the Harborwalk.


“You have this little loop that goes around the campus center here, where you could potentially get some speed if you wanted to, but it’s a Prius.”

Nicole Fleming can be reached at nicole.fleming@globe.com. Rachel Riley can be reached at rachel.riley@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @rachel_m_riley.