Bodies of missing Stafford couple found near their home: authorities

STAFFORD – The bodies of the township couple who have been missing for two weeks were found in a dense part of the woods near the couple’s Warren Grove home, authorities said.

Illegal gambling is not thought to be a factor in the deaths of Lorraine Parker, 60, and Gary Parker, 67, the Stafford Township Police Department said in a statement on the grim discovery. Autopsies are expected later this week, police said.

A Stafford police drone discovered the couple’s remains at 1pm on Tuesday.

A small army of law enforcement officers in about a dozen law enforcement vehicles came down on the secluded residence on Cedar Bridge Road shortly thereafter.

The scene included detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department as well as Stafford police.

Original story: The Stafford couple disappear after heading into Pine Barrens

New phase: The case of missing Stafford couple handed over to detectives, prosecutors

What we know: Massive search fails to find missing Stafford couple

Stafford police announced on the morning of November 23 that they were looking for the couple, who are believed to have entered Pine Barrens on off-road vehicles. Police later confirmed there was one ATV and it was found Tuesday morning near the couple’s home with Gary Parker’s shotgun strapped to it. Lorraine’s stick was found a few days later, but police would not say where

The couple was last seen on Nov. 17, though a neighbor reported having spoken to Lorraine Parker the weekend after that date, police said.

The couple’s daughter, Lindsay Parker, reported them missing and warned people on Facebook. It has not been possible to get hold of her.

Gary and Lorraine Parker

Gary and Lorraine Parker

Police organized a massive deforestation that included an extensive network search on foot, ATVs, K-9s, drones and a helicopter.

The first day of the search was centered around the area around the couple’s home. On Wednesday, the operation focused on the forest between Route 539 and Warren Grove Road in Barnegat and Stafford townships, police said.

After more than 100 volunteers, police officers and firefighters combed the woods in the Warren Grove section of the township on Nov. 24, the search for Lorraine and Gary Parker was handed over to Stafford detectives and Ocean County prosecutors.

Ken Serrano has been covering crime, recent news, investigations and local issues in New Jersey for more than 20 years. Contact him at 732-643-4029 or kserrano@gannettnj.com.

This article was originally published in Asbury Park Press: Missing Stafford NJ couple found dead

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