CT teacher who went missing 2 months ago while self-quarantining found dead off Fire Island

Maya Rajamani
July 07, 2020 - 1:58 pm
Gil Cunha

West Haven Police Department

WEST HAVEN, CT (1010 WINS) -- A Connecticut teacher who disappeared while he was self-quarantining for COVID-19 symptoms in May has been found dead, police said.

A boater found 50-year-old Gil Cunha's remains in the waters off of Fire Island around 2:30 p.m. on July 2, Suffolk County police said.

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Suffolk County detectives "determined the remains were from a body that had been discovered after being struck by the propeller of a tug boat on May 27 at 6:50 a.m.," the department said. The cause of Cunha's death is under investigation.

Cunha self-isolated in a room at his parents’ home in West Haven, Connecticut at the beginning of May after he started to experience COVID-19 symptoms, NBC News previously reported

But when Cunha’s mother checked in on him on the morning of May 7, she discovered that he was gone. Cunha’s cousin said it “wasn’t unusual for (him) to go out for a walk,” the outlet reported, citing a Dateline interview. 

“But when he didn’t return later that day, (his mother) knew something was wrong,” his cousin said. “He wouldn’t just take off without contacting his family.” 

Cunha’s driver’s license was missing, but all of his other belongings were still in the room, his cousin said. 

The teacher had been working for the West Haven Public School system up until the pandemic hit, according to the outlet. A number of searches have been conducted since he disappeared, to no avail so far. 

It wasn't immediately clear how Cunha ended up in the Long Island area.

"With respect to Mr. Cunha's family and friends, no further information will be released at this time," West Haven police said in a statement.