March 26, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
The body of a Williamsburg man who had been missing for nearly two months was found late last week in the East River.
James Johnston, a 31-year-old NYU masters student and Lyft driver, went missing in late January. He was last seen on Jan. 29 by his roommates at their Morgan Avenue apartment, after returning home that day from a car accident in North Bergen, NJ where his car towed.
By the next morning, Johnston could not be found.
During the search for her son, Johnston’s mother told an NBC affiliate in Rochester that Johnston suffers from bipolar disorder and missed a scheduled Jan. 20 appointment for an injection that helps manage the disorder, which she believes could be a factor in his disappearance.
Johnston’s body was found on March 21 in the river near lower Manhattan, police said, and his family was soon notified.
“Yesterday we got a call no one should ever have to get – they found him,” Johnston’s family wrote on a GoFundMe page that is raising funds for the funeral. “Not the fun personality, not the infectious laugh, the witty jokes. They found his remains. We have the closure now that he will be coming home for good.”
Johnston’s exact cause of death is still being determined, the medical examiner’s office said.
The GoFundMe page, initially set up to help raise funds to help find Johnston, has now raised over $5,000. Funds leftover from the funeral will be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
A visitation will be held on March 30 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Young Funeral Home in Williamson, NY. The funeral service will follow the next day at 2 p.m. at Williamson First Presbyterian Church. On April 27, there will be a celebration of Johnston’s life at the West Walworth Fire Department.