NEW YORK – A body found in a New Jersey river has been positively identified as David Bird, a Wall Street Journal reporter who disappeared more than a year ago, officials said on Thursday.
Dental records were used to identify Bird, 55, an energy markets reporter at the Journal, published by News Corp., who had been missing since taking a walk from his home by the Passaic River in Long Hill Township, New Jersey, on Jan. 11, 2014, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.
Two men canoeing on the river on Wednesday found the red jacket Bird was wearing when he disappeared. The boaters immediately contacted police, who later found human remains and sought to identify them, the prosecutor said.
“At this time, the Medical Examiner’s investigation into the cause and manner of death is ongoing,” the prosecutor said.
Bird’s family thanked law enforcement “for their tireless efforts to find David” in a statement released by family spokeswoman Carolyn Buscarino. The family asked for privacy and said funeral arrangements were pending.
The family had offered a $10,000 reward in the search for Bird, who had worked for Dow Jones for more than 20 years, and was a Boy Scout leader and marathon runner with two teenage children.
Bird had a liver transplant, police said, and was believed to be without the medicine he needed to take regularly.
On the day he vanished, Bird had taken down the family Christmas tree and went out for some fresh air during a break in the rain at about 4 p.m., his wife said on www.finddavidbird.info, a website set up to aid in the search.