According to a release from the Cooperstown Police Department, a wide reaching search was launched to find an individual who was declared missing on Friday, January 26th, 2024. The search took place on Friday, February 2nd, and at around 11:15 a.m., a deceased male was found in the Susquehanna River by an Otsego County Sherriff's Deputy. The deceased was identified as Otsego County resident Matthew V. Sisson, 45.

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Also per the release, the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation is actively looking into the death.

Matthew Sisson was a father, son, husband, brother, and uncle. Based on posts in the Matthew Sisson Memorial group on Facebook, he had many friends who loved him dearly. Though I didn't know Matt personally, by working through coverage of the story with his family and through shared photos, I learned a good deal about Matt, and what he meant to just about everyone his life touched.

One thing I keyed in on was Matt's love of loud and aggressive music, an affinity I share. I smiled when I saw pictures of him in Nine Inch Nails and Slayer t-shirts, sometimes throwing up metal horns. Slayer's Seasons in the Abyss is playing in the background as I write this for inspiration. He was also a drummer who loved to play in front of an audience. As a music fan, I was impressed by his kick drum technique seen in a posted video.

Matthew Sisson Memorial Group via Facebook
Matthew Sisson Memorial Group via Facebook
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Matt also loved the outdoors and riding his four wheeler, as well as anything with a small engine. One story in the group depicts him zipping his daughter and nieces up a hill while sledding while the sounds of laughter and the smell of motor oil hung in the air.

But most of all, Matt loved and was loved. This is evidenced first and foremost by nieces Kate Stankiewicz and Erika Gaige, who stepped up to help lead the charge to find Matt when he went missing, and rallied thousands of local and regional people to assist with the search, and are now working to find answers amid their grief.

Matthew Sisson Memorial Group via Facebook
Matthew Sisson Memorial Group via Facebook
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In a post, Matt's niece Erika summed up her feelings after learning that her uncle's body had been found: "You really never know when the last time you’ll see a loved one is. We take things for granted and we shouldn’t. Make sure to always show your love to the ones you care about. Even if you aren’t close to a family member let them know you love them. Don’t take this life for granted and don’t waste it. Love is the most important thing in this life."

We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family during their time of loss.

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