Missing 73-year-old found after three days stuck in Lacey marsh

Green Grass in Saltwater Marsh at High Tide

LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – On Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 10:10 am, the Lacey Township Police Department was contacted regarding a missing person from a Lanoka Harbor residence.  The missing person, identified as a 73-year old male, had walked away from his residence in the Bayberry Section of Lanoka Harbor, on Thursday, May 27, 2021, at approximately 12:00 pm and had not returned home. It was further reported that the missing male suffered from Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Police Officers from the Lacey Township Police Department were immediately dispatched and began checking common areas that the missing male frequently visits, however they were unable to locate him.  The investigation at the scene, along with the deteriorating weather conditions, led to a search effort in the wooded marsh area near the missing male’s residence on the Edward B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge property.

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The Lacey Township Police Department coordinated with both the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and the Lanoka Harbor Fire Company, to conduct a systematic search of the wooded area.  This included the use of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department K9 unit, along with off-road patrol units from both the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and the Lacey Township Police Department.

At approximately 2:45 pm, members of the off-road units located the missing male approximately one-half mile back in the wooded marsh area.  He was lying on his back in several inches of water and was unable to move.  The missing male was conscious, however, was unable to speak.  He was extricated from the marsh area and transported out of the woods by members of Lanoka Harbor EMS, utilizing their off-road EMS utility vehicle.  Once they exited the woods, the missing male was taken to an ambulance where RWJ Barnabas paramedics were waiting.  Medical care was provided and the missing male was transported to Community Medical Center by Lanoka Harbor EMS.

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