After five months of gut-wrenching uncertainty, Pittsburgh police announced Thursday night that Andre Gray
's body was found in the Ohio River in West Virginia. Police say 30-year-old Hubert Wingate "is a person of interest," and was already in the Allegheny County Jail for an unrelated warrant in connection with an assault in Colorado.
Wingate's status as a person of interest was announced Friday afternoon as a correction
to a Thursday-night press release that claimed he had been arrested.
"Thank God for bringing my son home,” said Gray's mother, Victoria Gray-Tillman, according to a police press release. "Now I can begin my closure process. It’s been a long time coming … It’s a mother’s worse nightmare — their child being out there and it’s the not knowing. So I thank God for all the people, the family and the prayers.”
On Oct. 25, Gray-Tillman found her son's Lawrenceville apartment ransacked
after he didn't return her phone calls. Inside, she found blood, bleach and duct tape, and noticed that his car and other items from the apartment were missing. (The car was later found, partially burned, on the North Side.)
Gray's body was found by West Virginia officials near a barge on March 20. They ruled his death a homicide caused by a gunshot wound, but it wasn't until March 25 that Gray was identified and Pittsburgh officials were notified of his death, according to a press release.
Gray, 34, was gay, out to his family and set to start a job at Project Silk
— an organization that predominately serves young minorities in the LGBT community. "He was very much like a father figure to lot of people,” Nayck Feliz, a volunteer and former associate director of Silk told City Paper last month
. "He wanted to help out even if he wasn’t paid." Gray's disappearance prompted some LGBT activists to help his family, including a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to encourage anyone with information to come forward.
It was not immediately clear what prompted Wingate's arrest or whether Gray knew him. When Wingate was arrested on the Colorado warrant, police found he had a concealed semi-automatic handgun.
Editor's note: This post originally cited a Pittsburgh police press release that stated Hubert Wingate was arrested. Police issued a correction Friday afternoon stating that he is a person of interest.