MORRISTOWN, N.J. » A body found this week in a river is that of a former Wall Street Journal reporter who had been missing for more than a year, authorities said Thursday.
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, about 30 miles west of New York City, Morris County prosecutor Fredric Knapp said.
Two men canoeing Wednesday in the Passaic River between Long Hill and Bernards Township came across a red jacket, Knapp said in an email. 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, including local police and the FBI, were involved in the search for him over the last 14 months.
Bird was a liver transplant recipient and didn’t have his medication with him when he left the house, his wife, Nancy Bird, said at the time.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Bird’s body was found in the middle of the river about a mile and a half from his house and the Hicks Tract, a park his family believed he was walking through before he vanished.
Bird had worked for the Journal’s publisher, Dow Jones & Co., for more than 20 years, most recently covering energy markets.
"David Bird was a longstanding and valued member of the Dow Jones newsroom, and we are deeply saddened to learn today of his death," Gerard Baker, the Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief, said in an emailed statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."