Community Issues

Inaugural Events Planned For Dakota James Foundation

Benefits charity formed after Duquesne student's mysterious disappearance and death.


When Duquesne University student Datoka James disappeared from downtown Pittsburgh two years ago, his family threw their effort into searching for him. When his body was found in the Ohio River south of the city 40 days later, they re-focused their energy on discovering what exactly happened to him -- never buying the official ruling that he died from an accidental drowning.

Now they're keeping Dakota's memory alive and keeping law enforcement feet to the fire -- they weren't happy with how their son's missing person's case was handled -- with a non-profit foundation. The mission of the Dakota James Foundation is to "ensure public safety through improved surveillance, police procedures and cooperation, raising awareness and supporting families of a missing person."

You can join them by supporting two upcoming fundraisers in Pittsburgh on Saturday April 27. The first is the Dakota James Foundation Inaugural 5K Run/Walk in North Park. The race starts at the Boathouse at 8am. There's a $20 fee for early registration which goes up to $30 after April 12. There will be prizes for the winners in various age categories. Click here to register.

For those who prefer dining and dancing to running, the foundation is holding a second event that night aboard the Gateway Clipper. The Inaugural Night with the Dakota James Foundation includes dinner and dancing, and benefits a scholarship fund in Dakota's name. Click here for more information and to reserve your ticket.

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