March 19, 2015

David Bird had been missing for more than a year; left home for a walk in January 2014

Body of Missing Reporter Found in New Jersey

By Melanie Grayce West — The Wall Street Journal

David Christopher Bird, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was missing for more than a year, has been found dead near the site of his disappearance, New Jersey police said.

Canoers found a body in northern New Jersey's Passaic River on Wednesday. It was identified as Mr. Bird through dental records on Thursday, the police said.

The discovery marks the end of more than a year of searching for Mr. Bird, 55 years old. He worked for Dow Jones for more than two decades, most recently covering energy markets.

Mr. Bird leaves behind a wife and two teenage children.

"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," said Carolyn Buscarino, a spokeswoman for the family. "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."

Ms. Buscarino said funeral arrangements haven't yet been finalized.

Mr. Bird was last seen leaving his home on Jan. 11, 2014. His wife, Nancy Bird, reported that her husband had gone for a short walk in the woods near their home in the Millington section of Long Hill Township, N.J.

In the weeks after his disappearance, the local community and law-enforcement officials conducted searches in the waters, swamps and wooded areas close to his home. Divers searched the Passaic River.

The discovery of a body on Wednesday came the same day that the family launched a website dedicated to Mr. Bird's search.

Gerard Baker, the editor in chief of the Journal, said in a statement: "David Bird was a long-standing and valued member of the Dow Jones newsroom, and we are deeply saddened to learn today of his death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

Mr. Bird was born in Trenton, N.J., the youngest of six children. He graduated from Rider College and worked for a time at the Fort Myers, Fla., News-Press, according to a website created by Mr. Bird's family.

A year into his career with Dow Jones Newswires, Mr. Bird transferred to Dow Jones's London office. After five years in the newsrooms, he took time off to travel throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Mr. Bird returned from his travels in 1988 and resumed work in the news industry. Around this time, he met his future wife, Nancy Fleming.

He proposed to her with 10 toy rings purchased at a grocery store. The couple married in 1991 and traveled together widely before the birth of their son in 1998 and a daughter in 2001.

Mr. Bird received a lifesaving liver transplant a decade ago, the details of which were chronicled in several local newspapers and on his blog. He was an avid hiker, lover of reggae music, a Red Sox fan, cyclist, camper, marathoner and a scout-troop leader. He had traveled to more than 35 countries.

In addition to Dow Jones, Mr. Bird had also worked for the Trenton Times, Lawrence Ledger and Associated Press.