George H. Williams, 65, entered state game lands late Monday morning with a friend from Lafayette, New Jersey, police Sgt. Mark Wildrick said Tuesday morning.
They soon separated as they prepared to bow hunt, Wildrick said. Williams was carrying a portable tree stand when he died, apparently of natural causes, Wildrick said.
About nightfall, the friend became concerned and alerted authorities, Wildrick said. Once jurisdiction was settled — the original call indicated Williams went missing in neighboring Mansfield Township; Washington Township police became involved at 6:51 p.m. — authorities pinged the Sussex County man’s cellphone to develop a general search area, Wildrick said.
A “massive search” of 35 to 45 police and rescue personnel — using search dogs from Washington Township, Morris County, police and from a multijurisdictional team organized by the American Red Cross, and a North Star helicopter — worked for hours in terrain that included thick, wooded areas and open fields, Wildrick said.
Williams was located by a search dog and a Warren County tactical team at 11:11 p.m. in a thicket, Wildrick said.
Williams had been dead for some time, Wildrick said. It looked like “he expired during the trek in” before he could begin to hunt, Wildrick said of Williams.
Fire and rescue personnel from Oxford Township, rescue personnel from Phillipsburg — who brought Gator vehicles — New Jersey State Police and Belvidere rescue personnel assisted in the search, Wildrick said. (by Lehigh valley live)