Body may be ACPL staffer
Genealogist vanished in Toronto on Sunday.
By Jeff Wiehe
Colleagues of Ronald “Ryan” Taylor now fear the worst after a body matching his description was found in the Niagara River near Devil's Hole in Lewiston, N.Y., on Monday.
Taylor, 56, an Allen County Public Library genealogist filming a documentary for the History Channel in Toronto, disappeared Sunday. He was supposed to fly back to Fort Wayne on Monday but missed his flight. His bags were found inside a Bloor Street and Avenue Road area hotel where he was staying at the time he disappeared. According to the Buffalo News, the body of a 6-foot-2-inch, 350-pound man with a full white-and-gray beard and receding hairline was found in the Niagara River the day Taylor was supposed to land in Fort Wayne. The man, who has yet to be identified, was believed to be 45 to 55 years old.
“It describes him to a T,” said Louise St. Denis, the director of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies based in Toronto, where Taylor was an instructor. “In our minds, it's him.”
Taylor was in Toronto to film a documentary called “Ancestors in our Attic” for the History Channel. A Toronto Police Service report describes him as white, 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 300 pounds with a gray beard and mustache. The report also said he has diabetes and depression, for which he requires daily medication.
Toronto Police said the Niagara (NY) County coroner had not yet identified the body as of Saturday morning.
Blake: Ryan Taylor is also an outstanding Fort Wayne sports historian and has co-authored the Zollner Pistons Story with Rodger Nelson in 1995 and Fifty Years of Komets Hockey with Don Graham in 2002 which are the two greatest historical books about Fort Wayne sports ever written. Their book is THE authoritative book on Komets' history, and I would encourage everyone to read it.
If this is true, this is a huge loss for Fort Wayne in so many ways that most people would never realize. Ryan was a tremendous person and resource of the community itself. It was my honor to work with he and Don a little on the Komets' book, and I learned a great deal from both of them. I will definitely miss not being able to pick up the phone when I get stumped on a historical question and ask him for the answer. It was always interesting to see if I could find the answer first or get frustrated and call Ryan, knowing he would have the answer within an hour if he didn't already know it off the top of his head.
The Allen County Public Library is a building, but people like Ryan are its heart, and Ryan is definitely part of its soul.