NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office has identified the body found in the Passaic River on Wednesday to be that of missing Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird.

Authorities say on Wednesday, two canoers in the Passaic River found a red jacket near branches and notified the Bernards Township Police Department. Police later found human remains.

The identification that it was Bird’s body was made through dental records, the prosecutor’s office said.

“The Bird family would like to thank the many members of law enforcement…for their tireless efforts to find David. They would also like to thank the countless friends, neighbors and strangers who have prayed for David,” family spokeswoman Carolyn Buscarino said in a statement.

Bird, 56, was last seen leaving his home on Long Hill Road in Long Hill, New Jersey, at 4 p.m. Jan. 11, 2014. He left to go for a walk in Millington, and never came back.

His wife, Nancy Bird, said in January it is possible that her husband walked through an area called Hicks Tract, with hiking and walking trails.

Long Hill Township Police Chief Michael Mazzeo said Thursday that Bird’s remains were found approximately 1.5 miles from his house and Hicks Tract.

Bird had only intended to go on a short walk. At the time of Bird’s disappearance, Mazzeo told 1010 WINS that Bird left his cellphone and charger.

Bird had worked for the Journal’s publisher, Dow Jones & Co., for more than 20 years.

The medical examiner is working to determine the cause of death.

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