Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Gates, 30, was last seen on Aug. 25. when she left her home to go to a convenience store across the street.
Investigators were drawn to Gates as their possible victim because she appeared to fit the profile that Niagara Regional Police, in the Falls, Ontario, had released at the time the torso was discovered. Canadian law enforcement officials said the torso appeared to be that of a "white female, between the ages of 31 and 56."
They also said the woman "had a pierced naval that was closed off" and appeared to have one or two caesarian section scars.
According to social media sites, Gates attended Niagara Falls High School and was employed by a Cheektowaga company. She has three children, ages 11, 5 and 4.
On her Facebook page, she recently wrote, "I am getting my life together for my 3 children I love them soso much." Her last post on her Facebook page was on Aug. 21 and was a link to her MySpace profile.
A day earlier, her page announced that she was "engaged", but did not indicate to who.
Because her torso was recovered in Canadian waters, law enforcement agencies in that country have also be involved in the case.
Canadian authorities have classified the discovery of the headless, limbless torso as a homicide. They have said the body was "dismembered" and the loss of the head and limbs was not linked to having been in the rough waters of the lower Niagara River.
Police have estimated that the torso was in the water for between four and 10 days before it was recovered.
In the statement from Falls police on Sunday, investigators asked for help from the public. Anyone with information is asked to call Criminal Investigation Division detectives at 716-286-4553 or 716-286-4711.