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Body of David Bird, missing Wall Street Journal reporter, found in New Jersey river

Missing Wall Street Journal reporter found dead in New Jersey river

The body of a veteran Wall Street Journal reporter who went missing more than a year ago was found in a New Jersey river on Wednesday night, prosecutors said.

The remains of 55-year-old David Bird were spotted by two men who were canoeing along the Passaic River around 5 p.m. local time Wednesday, according to a statement issued by the Morris County, N.J., prosecutor's office on Thursday.

The Morris County medical examiner's office identified Bird through dental records, but a cause of death was not immediately clear, prosecutors said.

Bird vanished on Jan. 11, 2014, after he went for a short walk near his home in Long Hill Township, N.J. He was last seen wearing a red jacket in the wooded municipality, the same jacket the two men spotted when they discovered his body Wednesday, prosecutors said.

Police have previously said there were no signs of foul play in Bird's disappearance, but the FBI became involved in the search early on. At one point, police were reviewing unconfirmed reports that one of Bird's credit cards had been used in Mexico.

The Bird family asked for privacy in a statement released Thursday afternoon. Funeral arrangements have not been set.

"The Bird family would like to thank the many members of law enforcement, especially Chief Michael Mazzeo and the Long Hill Township Police Department, for their tireless efforts to find David," the statement read. "They would also like to thank the countless friends, neighbors and strangers who have prayed for David and for the family over the past 14 months."

Bird's family offered a $10,000 reward for his safe return, and concerned friends and relatives managed to raise more than $35,000 to help with the search. 

The family also launched FindDavidBird.com, a website that aimed to assist in the search and raise awareness about his disappearance, on Wednesday. The website actually launched hours before Bird's body was found, according to Carloyn Buscarino, a family spokeswoman.

Bird covered energy markets for the Wall Street journal, and had previously reported for the Associated Press and Trenton Times, the newspaper reported. He also spent several years reporting from Dow Jones' London offices.

He is survived by his wife of more than 20 years, Nancy, and two children, according to the Journal.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


12:21 p.m.: This post updated with a statement from Bird's family and additional background on his career.

The first version of this post published at 11:38 a.m.