David Bird, the 55-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter who mysteriously disappeared 14 months ago, was found dead on Thursday.
Police in Long Hill Township said they found Bird’s body in a river that borders Morris and Somerset counties after two men who were canoeing spotted a red jacket Wednesday evening. The Medical Examiner used dental records to identify the body and an investigation into Bird’s cause of death is ongoing, according to Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Long Hill Township Police Chief Michael Mazzeo.
Bird’s family has been told of the heartwrenching results of the Medical Examiner’s report and are requesting privacy, officials said.
In January 2014, Bird left his home in Long Hill Township, N.J., for one of his usual solo walks along the trails nearby. It had been a rainy day but when Bird saw a break in the clouds, he went outside to take advantage of the calmer weather, carrying his wallet but no cellphone, a family spokesperson said at the time.
An avid outdoorsman who finished the New York City Half Marathon months before his disappearance, Bird was described as healthy by his family but he did require twice-daily medication for a liver transplant he received nearly a decade ago.
When Bird didn’t return home from his walk last year, search crews were assembled but winter weather, mud and icy water complicated their efforts.