Rockaway man identified as 44th Hurricane victim

By Bianca Fortis

The death toll from Hurricane Sandy has risen to 44 in the city after a man found dead in his home was determined to be a victim of the storm.

Keith Lancaster, 62, was discovered inside his Rockaway Beach Boulevard trailer in April.

The city Office of the Chief Medical Examiner announced Monday that an autopsy revealed Lancaster’s cause of death was accidental drowning. Clues that he died during the hurricane included a 5-foot-high waterline in the trailer, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner said.

No one claimed the body and Lancaster was buried on Hart Island in a potter’s field.

His death raised the number of people in Queens who died as a result of the storm to 12, including 10 in the Rockaways.

The New York Times reported that neighbors found his body five months after the hurricane when they suspected he had died in the storm.

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at bfortis@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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