The body of a man pulled from the Susquehanna River Tuesday morning was identified as a local record store owner and Dagger columnist missing since last month.
Scott R. Hammer, 57, of Havre de Grace was found on the rocks below the Conowingo Dam on Tuesday, Maryland State Police said in a statement. Hammer was the owner of Coda Records on Main Street in Bel Air, and a music columnist for The Dagger.
State Police said Conowingo Dam workers reported seeing a body lying on a rock in the river after the water level was lowered. A State Police helicopter assisted in the recovery of the remains, which were identified as Hammer through his driver’s license and clothing.
The recovery of his body comes three weeks after a musical benefit was held in his name. More than 40 bands and acts came together at Longshots Bar in Abingdon on the weekend of Feb. 1 to pay tribute to Hammer and raise funds to keep his store open.
Maryland State Police had initially declined to positively ID Hammer as the individual they believed leapt from the dam after parking his car in the travel lanes of Route 1. Havre de Grace police had investigated Hammer’s disappearance from his home as a missing persons case, but authorities could not publicly link the two incidents in the absence of a body.
From Maryland State Police:
(CONOWINGO, MD) – The body of a Harford County man who had been missing since early last month was recovered today from the Susquehanna River.
The man has been identified as Scott R. Hammer, 57, of Havre de Grace, Md. His body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.
Shortly before 9:30 a.m. today, Natural Resources Police officers were contacted by workers at the Conowingo Dam who reported seeing a body lying on a rock in the river after the water level was lowered. Due to the inability to reach the location either by boat or across the rocks on foot, a Maryland State Police helicopter was requested to respond. The State Police helicopter crew lowered two flight paramedics with a rescue basket down to the body. The body was placed in the rescue basket and hoisted from the river. Hammer was identified by investigators through his driver’s license and the clothes he was wearing. His family was notified by State Police investigators.
On the evening of January 2, 2013, Maryland State Police from the North East Barrack responded to the report of a possible disabled vehicle stopped in the roadway on Rt. 1, over the Conowingo Dam, just south of Rt. 222. Troopers found no one around the car, which was running and had its flashers on.
The vehicle was registered to Scott Hammer and his wife. When troopers contacted the Havre de Grace Police Department, they learned Hammer had been reported missing by his wife. A note was found at his home indicating he may have been contemplating suicide. Multiple searches of the river had been conducted, but the victim’s body had not been seen until today.