LONG HILL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police and residents in New Jersey are continuing the search for a Wall Street Journal reporter who has been missing since Saturday.
David Bird, 55, a father of two, was last seen leaving his home on Long Hill Road at 4 p.m. to go for a walk in Millington.
“He advised his wife he was going out for a short walk,” Long Hill Township Police Chief Michael Mazzeo told 1010 WINS. “He left his cellphone and charger, and he has never returned. We’re out trying to gather as much intelligence through his computer, through his cellphone, through information provided by his wife, family and friends.”
“Mr. Bird is a longtime member of the Dow Jones newsroom,” Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Gerard Baker said in a statement Thursday. “Our thoughts are with his family, and we are working with the Long Hill Township Police Department as they continue their search.”
As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, police crews, friends and neighbors spent much of Thursday searching for Bird, an energy writer. A dive team also searched the Passaic River on Tuesday, but found nothing.
Search crews will be out on the trails of Lord Stirling Park again Friday.
The family told Schneider off camera they are shaken and hope for his safe return. Earlier Thursday, they released a statement saying: “As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for the Bird family. They are deeply moved by the outpouring of concern and prayers from the community and so many well-wishers, and they want to convey their most heartfelt thanks to all.”
The community first heard about Bird’s disappearance Saturday night. They immediately rallied to help, as hundreds formed search committees and posted fliers all over town.
“Everybody’s just trying to get the word out,” said Andrea Adams, a family friend.
“I just can’t comprehend what’s going on,” Fran Condit, Bird’s neighbor, told Schneider. “It’s a nightmare.
“He’s involved in so many activities in the community,” she added. “So it’s hard to imagine he would just disappear — oh, no, no, he would not just disappear.”
Bird is the recipient of a liver transplant and missed his regular medication at 8 p.m. Saturday, police said.
“He just celebrated his nine-year anniversary since his transplant,” family friend Jacquie Petras told 1010 WINS. “He had, that day, written a letter to the donor family, which he does every year at this time, just thanking them and showing tremendous gratitude for the gift of life.”
Due to his medical condition, Bird may be confused and disoriented, police said. He is not dangerous.
Bird was last seen wearing a distinct, bright red jacket with two yellow zippers, blue jeans, sneakers and glasses.
He is described as a white male, 6-foot-1 and approximately 200 pounds, partially balding with gray hair and a gray goatee, police said.
Police said they don’t consider the disappearance suspicious.
They’re asking neighbors to check around their homes in the event Bird got sick and was looking for shelter during Saturday’s heavy rain.
Residents with home surveillance are also asked to review their video feeds from 4 p.m. Saturday and on.
Anyone with information is asked to call Long Hill Township Police at 908-647-1800.
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