LONG HILL TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The death of a Wall Street Journal reporter whose body was found in a river 14 months after he disappeared was ruled an accident.

The medical examiner determined that 55-year-old David Bird accidentally drowned when he fell into the Passaic River.

Bird was a liver transplant recipient and didn’t have his medication with him when he left his Long Hill Township home to take a walk in January 2014.

Two men canoeing in the Passaic River between Long Hill and Bernards Township came across a red jacket in March and police found Bird’s remains.

Bird’s widow Nancy said she believes her husband was scrambling to return home as a storm approached and lost his footing on the banks of the river, the Daily Record of Parsippany reported.

In a statement Wednesday, the Morris County Posecutor’s Office said the Bird family has requested that the community and media respect their privacy at this time, and that their office will not be releasing any more details on Bird’s death.