LONG HILL - A body found in the Passaic River is that of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who had been missing for more than a year, authorities said Thursday.
Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp announced that the body was positively identified as that of David Bird, who was 55 when he disappeared in January 2014 while taking a walk near his home in Long Hill Township.
Knapp said in an email that two men canoeing Wednesday in the Passaic River between Long Hill and Bernards Township came across a red jacket. Police later found human remains, and a positive identification was made using dental records. An investigation into the cause and manner of death is underway.
According to a website launched by Bird's family, Bird went out for a walk on Jan. 11, 2014, after helping family members take down Christmas decorations and never returned. He was wearing a red raincoat at the time. Dozens of law enforcement agencies were involved in the search over the last 14 months, from local police to the FBI.
Bird was a liver transplant recipient and didn't have his medication with him when he left the house, his wife, Nancy, said at the time.
His family released the following statement: "The Bird family would like to thank the many members of law enforcement, especially Chief Michael Mazzeo and the Long Hill Township Police Department for their tireless efforts to find David." The family also thanked supporters. A spokesman said that the family wouldn't be making any additional comments at this time.
Bird had worked for the Journal's publisher, Dow Jones & Co., for more than 20 years.
AP contributed to this story.