Body pulled from East River identified as struggling cab driver

NEW YORK — A body pulled from the East River has been identified as that of a New York City cab driver who disappeared earlier this month amid financial concerns.

Yu Mein "Kenny" Chow's family had filed a missing persons report shortly after he was last seen on May 11. His cab was found in Manhattan a block from the East River.

Authorities retrieved the body from the river on Wednesday, and Chow's family said it had been identified as his. An email to the medical examiner's office seeking a cause of death was not immediately returned.

Chow's family said the 56-year-old was feeling financial pressure from a $700,000 loan on his medallion, the permit that lets someone have a yellow taxi in New York City, as well as his wife's recent cancer diagnosis.

The value of the medallions has gone down significantly in recent years with the rise of app-based hailing services. Those cars now outnumber yellow cabs.

In February, a livery cab driver shot himself to death outside City Hall hours after posting on Facebook that politicians had destroyed the industry and ruined him.

Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an advocacy group, said Chow's income had dropped in the last few years and blamed city policies that allowed app-based services "to expand unchecked, devastating the lives and livelihoods of New York City's professional drivers."